Briefly: Tesla (et al) founder Elon Musk met with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday (30 May). Musk and several other top CEOs are visiting Beijing for a JP Morgan conference.
China is key for Musk. Its 1.4 billion person market makes up a fifth of Tesla’s revenue, a third of its unit sales, and more than half its total production. So it’s no surprise Musk is (according to Beijing) wary of US-China decoupling.
China’s statement about Musk also included some banging automotive puns, including the need to avoid “dangerous driving” in US-China relations, and “step on the gas” to promote cooperation. Have folks there been reading Intrigue?
Yet China’s top officials clear their calendar for Musk. And by doing so, they send a message to the US: be more like Musk, keep investing, say nice things, and everybody will get along.
Things might get trickier for Musk when China chooses to send a different message.
Also worth noting:
- Tesla’s share price jumped 5% after Musk met China’s foreign minister.
- Tesla announced plans last month to build a new battery factory in Shanghai.
- Musk didn’t tweet while he was in China. It was his longest break from Twitter in a year. The app is banned in China but is generally available for those with a US roaming plan.