Elon Musk visits China for the first time in three years

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has landed in China for the first time since he was on hand for the opening of Giga Shanghai in early 2020. Musk’s private jet was spotted landing at Beijing Capital Airport on Tuesday, ahead of several meetings with government officials and an expected visit to Giga Shanghai which is about to begin trial production of the Model 3 Project Highland refresh.

One of Musk’s first appointments was with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang. According to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry, Qin, the former Chinese ambassador to the U.S., expressed that China’s path to modernization, characterized by a large population and the pursuit of “common prosperity,” will lead to “unprecedented growth potential and market demand.”

Qin also emphasized the promising future of China’s electric vehicle market and assured Musk that China remains committed to opening up and improving the business environment for foreign companies such as Tesla. The statement further highlighted that Musk praised the Chinese people and China’s accomplishments. It stated that Tesla opposes the idea of “decoupling” and is eager to continue expanding its operations within China. (via CNBC)

According to a report by Bloomberg, Musk is also hoping to meet with Premier Li Qiang to talk about the potential of expanding Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta program to China.

And of course, Musk is expected to visit Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai. The last time Musk visited the factory in early 2020 it was to hand over the first vehicles to customers. Since then the factory has been expanded and seen an impressive production ramp, now producing over 1 million cars per year. Giga Shanghai has also become Tesla’s primary vehicle export hub, with the list of countries that receives those exports now including Canada.

The visit also coincides with what is expected to be the start of trial production of the Model 3 refresh known as Project Highland at Giga Shanghai on June 1.

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