Technology

Tesla CEO Elon Musk praises Chinese language automakers

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk praised the Chinese automakers on Friday, calling them “the most competitive in the world” during a pre-recorded question-and-answer stream at the World New Energy Vehicle Congress in the Chinese province of Hainan.

Musk praised the nation that is essential to his electric vehicle company, and the comments come as Tesla tries to improve its reputation in China.

“I have great respect for the many Chinese automakers who are driving these (EV) technologies,” said Musk. In the three-minute appearance, Musk said Chinese automakers are some of the best in software that will “shape the future of the automotive industry.”

Competitors to Tesla’s electric car makers in China include companies like Nio and Xpeng.

The company broke ground for a large factory in Shanghai in 2019 and was seen as a showcase for Beijing’s attempts to show that it is bringing more foreign companies into its relatively closed market.

However, negative press about Tesla in China has increased over the past year. A well-known case occurred in April when a woman who claimed to be a Tesla customer protested an alleged brake failure in her car at the Shanghai auto show. A video of the incident went viral on Chinese social networks and state media said Tesla had an “arrogant and arrogant attitude” in China.

It has also been subjected to regulatory controls over its privacy and a handful of recalls in China.

“Tesla is fully aware of the severity of the PR crisis in China,” wrote JL Warren Capital, an equity research firm focusing on Chinese and US companies with significant exposure to China, earlier this summer. Tesla has also reached out to social media influencers in China to get them to remove or revoke their critical posts, including some from renowned automotive experts, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla sold 44,264 vehicles made in China in August, 31,379 of which were for export. It was an increase from 32,968 Chinese-made vehicles sold in July and 33,155 units sold in June.

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