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Elon Musk visits commerce and industry ministries

2023-05-31 HKT 12:23
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  • Elon Musk meets Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Photo: AFP
    Elon Musk meets Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Photo: AFP
Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicked off his second day in China with visits to the commerce ministry and industry ministry.

Musk left his hotel on Wednesday morning accompanied by Grace Tao, Tesla's China-based public affairs chief and Tom Zhu, head of global manufacturing.

At the commerce ministry, he was sent off with a handshake from the minister Wang Wentao. He next visited the Ministry of Industry and Information which has regulatory oversight of the automotive industry.

Musk's first visit to China in three years comes as Tesla faces intensifying competition from Chinese-made electric vehicles and some uncertainty about expansion plans for the Shanghai plant.

The factory produced over 700,000 Model Y and Model 3 vehicles last year, more than half of the company's global output.

Another area of interest for investors is whether mainland regulators will clear the release of Tesla's advanced driver assistance features. The features are available in the United States as part of the "Full Self Driving" software it sells for US$15,000 per vehicle.

A day earlier, Musk met Foreign Minister Qin Gang. He also had dinner with Zeng Yuqun, chairman of CATL, the Chinese battery giant and a key Tesla supplier, on Tuesday evening, according to a source and photos shared on social media.

Musk is expected to meet other senior Chinese officials and visit the Shanghai plant later in the week, sources have said, though it was not clear who exactly he would meet or what issues they would discuss. (Reuters)