Tesla's Elon Musk lands in China amid hopes to boost electronic vehicle sales

  28 April 2024    Read: 707

Tesla CEO Elon Musk landed in the Chinese capital of Beijing on Sunday amid hopes he will bring his company's autonomous driving technology to China, local media reported.

Although the agenda and detailed itinerary of Musk’s visit are not yet known, as Tesla has not confirmed Musk’s China visit, his latest trip coincides with the 2024 Beijing Auto Show, which kicked off on Thursday and runs through Saturday, English daily South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed "people familiar with the matter."

Billionaire Musk, who also owns X and SpaceX, among others, is seeking to meet senior Chinese officials to discuss the rollout of Full-Self Driving (FSD) software in China and to obtain approval to transfer data collected in the country abroad to train algorithms for its autonomous driving technologies.

This is Musk's second visit in less than a year. He had made a three-day trip to the world's second most populated country in June last.

His latest visit is seen as a move to boost electronic vehicle sales in China as Tesla is grappling with slower growth for electric vehicles in both its main markets of the US and China.

The Austin, Texas-based carmaker has faced fierce competition from Chinese EV makers over the past few years forcing the company to cut the prices of its Shanghai-made vehicles by up to 6% to maintain its leading position in China’s premium segment.

Tesla, the front-runner in China’s premium EV segment, delivered 603,664 Model 3s and Model Ys made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to buyers in China last year, an increase of 37.3% over 2022.

China has seen the increased adoption of advanced driver-assistance systems and higher levels of autonomous driving functions in mass-produced cars.

Musk recently said Tesla’s autopilot and FSD options could soon be provided to its Chinese customers.

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