Tesla’s Elon Musk meets with Beijing officials in China visit

Tesla’s Elon Musk meets with Beijing officials in China visit

Elon Musk Tesla TSLA EVs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently landed in China for a visit that surprised the electric vehicle community. But while Musk’s typical visits to China usually involve Shanghai, where Teslas’s Gigafactory Shanghai is located, the CEO’s visit today was to the nation’s capital, Beijing. Videos taken of Musk also showed that he met with high-ranking officials right after he landed.

On Sunday local time, Chinese electric vehicle watchers observed that Musk’s private jet was en route to Beijing. Considering that Tesla’s manufacturing facilities were located in Shanghai, some EV watchers speculated that Musk might be meeting with government officials this time around.

Musk’s private jet did arrive in Beijing, and Tesla watchers reported that the CEO was soon riding in a convoy of vehicles comprised of one Tesla Model S sedan and two Tesla Model X SUVs. Later posts by industry watchers suggested that Musk’s rather sudden visit to China was in response to an invitation from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

Musk, who was accompanied by Tesla executives such as Tom Zhu, SVP, Automotive, and VP Grace Tao, was later seen with Ren Hongbin, the chairman of the CCPIT. Later videos from Chinese media featuring the CEO revealed that Musk also met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Musk later shared a post about the visit on X, stating that he and the high-ranking government official had known each other since the early days of Gigafactory Shanghai.

The reason behind Musk’s seemingly sudden visit to China remains to be seen, though expectations are high among industry watchers in China that the trip might be related to the highly-anticipated release of Full Self Driving (FSD) in the country. If any, the timing of Musk’s visit seems quite interesting as news recently emerged indicating that Tesla, together with other manufacturers such as BYD, have met all data processing requirements in China.

Tesla has a number of incentives to launch FSD in China at the soonest time possible. The country is home to the world’s largest and most competitive electric vehicle market, so having an extremely advanced driver-assist system like FSD (Supervised) should help Tesla gain an advantage over its rivals in the country. Tesla China’s fleet is also very large, with the company noting that it has served over 1.7 million customers in the last 10 years. Such a large fleet could provide a substantial amount of real-world training data for Tesla’s FSD efforts, potentially accelerating the progress of FSD even further.

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