Tesla CEO Elon Musk Meets With Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 15

Elon Musk

Image Credit: EVANNEX

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk enjoyed a rare one-on-one meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, and it should prove significant to China’s automotive industry.

Typically, top Chinese officials meet with groups, not individuals. Musk happened to be in China, on an unplanned trip, and Wang spoke with him in private. Wang is a top official when it comes to China’s economy, and China has the potential to become Tesla’s biggest market. A positive, communicative relationship between these two men could be monumental for Tesla.

Last year, Tesla sales in China exceeded $1 billion, which triples the figure from the previous year. And, vehicle exports in general skyrocketed 376% in the first two months of 2017, compared to the first two months of 2016. Elon Musk believes that China may become Tesla’s largest market, but right now, the $1 billion 2016 sales figure is lagging behind that of the $4.2 billion in U.S. sales.

Apparently, Wang has never met with an automotive CEO before. Actually, he doesn’t really meet with anyone individually. Li Anding, Xinhua’s former automotive reporter and current Chinese auto industry consultant, shared:

“Wang usually meets with groups of people.”

China’s citizens will notice such a landmark meeting. It is a testament to the importance of Tesla in the country. China’s politicians look to Tesla as an example of what an electric car should be. The country has many of its own emerging electric automakers, but none have achieved like Tesla, in terms of range and charging time.

Li thinks that there may be a joint venture in the works between Tesla and a Chinese automaker. This would make the private meeting situation a bit more sensible. Tesla has talked of such a deal before, since high tariffs make its cars more expensive in China.

We reported just last week that Mark Hutchinson, Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor, had returned from a successful visit to China. He shared that the Chinese have a love for Tesla, and their desire to tour the Gigafactory was rampant. President Trump also had a positive meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the Chinese spoke of being happy with the new U.S. president, and America in general.

Source: Fortune

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18 responses to "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Meets With Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang"

  1. Alaa says:

    I like this attentive way of sitting from Elon.

  2. georgeS says:

    So what do you suppose Elon proposed?

    Perhaps bending the rules a little for Tesla?

    I think China’s policy is pretty straight forward: set up a factory/joint venture in China and share your tech with them.

    Is it worth the extra sales?

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I think Wang Yang, Elon & Trump have a Bromance thing going to push for the “Model à trois”.

    1. TeslaPlease says:

      It’s menage a trois

      1. Mikael says:

        Oh how good humour gets lost on some. 😛 You get one more try 😉

  4. Ab says:

    China will try to go ’50/50′ on ‘joint venture’. Then, when China has acquired enough knowledge, they will quietly change the rules of operation to force out the ‘partner’ with unprofitability, essentially stealing the physical means of production and intellectual property. I speak from personal experience of a relative managing a lithium ion battery plant in mainland China. My advice, produce elsewhere, safe from Chinese bureaucracy, negotiate only a profit sharing, based on investment only. Otherwise it will be a long term loss.

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      Considering that Tesla is giving away their patents and has the stated objective of accelerating the production of EVs, I’m not sure Musk is too concerned about that outcome, so long as they don’t steal the brand name itself.

  5. CLIVE says:

    Pai Gow !!

  6. Kdawg says:

    This is all very interesting stuff, but I think most of us have the same question in our minds; did they eat chocolate cake and how wonderful was it? #priorities

  7. Ron M says:

    I think Elon Musk will get a deal that reduces the cost for Chinese consumers to purchase a Tesla in China. The Chinese people love Tesla and Musk the government whats to reduce pollution.

  8. Tyl Young says:

    It’s great that China IS NOT FOLLOWING the U.S. in returning to coal and petroleum. Cancelling, under construction coal fired power plants etc. China is working feverishly to shift to an economy that is powered 100% by solar, and many other renewables. Knowing that, Elon is surely working towards a green auto manufacturing plant in China and a green giga-factory as well. Elon Musk’s ultimate goal is to drastically reduce CO2 emissions worldwide. He is working toward saving the atmosphere of earth, so he has people to drive his vehicles. Elon is thinking long, long term as he shifts our mentality into doing the right thing now to preserve our plant.
    Elon’s visit with Premiere Wang Yang is a move to facilitate that end.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That reads very much like Chinese propaganda.

      The reason China moved recently to suspend or cancel building about 100 new coal-fired power plants has a lot more to do with overbuilding and underused capacity at existing coal-fired plants than it does with any push for “greener” energy production.

      Here’s an article from last November about how much money China was wasting on building unneeded new coal-fired plants:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/28/china-risks-wasting-490bn-new-coal-plants-say-campaigners

      Contrast with a much more recent article about China halting or abandoning construction on new coal-fired power plants:

      http://www.sciencealert.com/the-end-of-coal-is-near-china-just-scrapped-103-power-plants

      However, this halt to expanding coal power in China may be just temporary. To quote from the second article linked above:

      But despite the national directive to pull back on coal infrastructure, some think that actually enforcing the suspension in the provinces affected might be a harder thing to accomplish.

      According to energy policy researcher Lin Boqiang from China’s Xiamen University, overcoming local resistance to halting construction on projects worth billions and employing huge numbers of workers will be a battle in itself.

      “Some projects might have been ongoing for 10 years, and now there’s an order to stop them,” he told The New York Times.

      “It’s difficult to persuade the local governments to give up on them.”

  9. Someone out there says:

    I don’t think Tesla is important to China. China already outsells all other countries combined when it comes to EVs.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      If that was the case then the Vice Premier would not meet with Elon one on one.

      The world purchased 774k EVs last year. Of that China purchased 351k. That is not more than 50%. And most of those are cheap low end models that are not competitive in either Europe or the USA. And/or would not be highway legal in the USA or Europe.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Perhaps if this article appeared somewhere other than InsideEVs, there might be some consideration of the possibility that the meeting in question has more to do with Elon’s other activities and proposals, rather than specifically about Tesla’s business in China.

        China may be very interested in Elon’s proposals for significantly increasing the output of factories. China may also be interested in contracting with SpaceX for orbital launches.

        Or maybe Vice Premier Wang Yang was interested in discussing the possibility of retiring to a Mars colony, altho that is perhaps less likely. 😉

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