Tesla’s Elon Musk Makes Impact In China, Offered Permanent Residency


JAN 22 2019 BY EVANNEX 35


It’s common enough for a CEO to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a new factory, but few of these photo-op events are as historic as Elon Musk’s recent trip to China. Gigafactory 3, now under construction near Shanghai, will be of critical importance for the company, allowing it to deliver cars at competitive prices to the world’s largest auto market. The accelerated timeline – Tesla expects the facility to begin production this year – signals a new way of doing things in the auto industry. Musk also highlighted the importance of international cooperation – in stark contrast to the current global trend of economic isolationism. Many are hoping his trip will herald a thaw in trade relations between the world’s economic superpowers.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: After breaking ground in Shanghai, Elon Musk discusses plans for Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 (Twitter: @vincent13031925)

“We hope you can get a firm foothold and expand the market,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Musk. “We hope your company can become an in-depth participant of China’s opening and a promoter of the stability of China-US relations.”

Apparently, Musk made such a positive impression that he was offered permanent residency. “I love China and want to come here more often,” said Musk, according to government news site Gov.cn. “If you do, we can issue you a Chinese green card,” the Premier replied.

Above: Elon Musk discusses the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai (Source: CCTV / Youtube: HelloZtar)

Tesla’s construction of the plant is a win for both parties. The trend-setting automaker has much to offer China, which aspires to become a player in the global auto industry. “Tesla has proprietary electric vehicle and battery technology and is willing to transfer its valuable physical production assets to assemble its vehicles in a wholly owned plant in Shanghai,” wrote Morgan Stanley Analyst Adam Jonas. “Tesla may have some negotiating power to secure more favorable (or less unfavorable) trading parameters for the import and sale of its electric vehicles in China while the plant is being ramped up.”

The Chinese have rolled out the red carpet for Tesla – the new Gig is to be built with mostly local funding, and it will be the first auto plant in the country to be wholly owned by a foreign automaker. On his trip, Musk was “fed, feted and shown a lot of love…everything he’s been missing in the US,” as Bloomberg put it.

Above: All three Tesla vehicles parked outside the Tower of Violet Light in Beijing (Twitter: @vincent13031925)

“Can Mr. Musk’s ‘EV Diplomacy’ offer the bottom-up US corporate leadership that could potentially catalyze an improvement in trade relations between the world’s two largest economies?” Adam Jonas asks. “One of the most well-known US CEOs physically traveled to China. This alone, in our opinion, is notable given the current climate of elevated tensions.”


Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged; Sources: Barron’sPoliticoBloomberg

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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35 Comments on "Tesla’s Elon Musk Makes Impact In China, Offered Permanent Residency"

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China is a dictatorship that suppresses it own people in so many ways but they nevertheless need to rid itself of fossil fuel dependence and the world’s climate health depend on it. So I for one support Tesla in investing in China although I am sure China will do what they do with most foreign companies and that is to rip them of technology and thereafter get rid of them once they are no longer needed for China like it happened to Samsung and now Apple.

This is why Tesla plans to only produce the base model in China. They will keep the top end technology in the US, while producing older tech in China. In this way, even if things are stolen, it will still be older tech.

I do not think you can separate that. China will learn a lot about how to make BEVs from Giga3 and although I do not applaud stealing intellectual property rights in this case it is probably for the best as the whole world need China to stop burning fossils. Also China is one of only a few governments in world who actively support the promotion of renewable technology so I expect Tesla to make much faster progress there than in other markets. Last but not least Tesla is not as dependent as others on using patents to prevent competition temporarily in order to pay for R&D. Tesla primarily prevent competition by running faster than everyone else. Their patents are obsolete and worthless in just a few years because of that. Replaced by better tech. You can’t steal development speed. Musk and the people he attracts are the root of that and that is something China cannot copy unless another “Musk” is born in China. I hope so we need more people like Musk.

this will not help stop CHina from burning fossil fuel. They are increasing the amount of coal that is used for electricity and that is worse than gasoline.

Rasmus Birkegaard Christensen

Actually a modern coal plant isn’t as dirty as one might think . Exhaust fumes are filtered and it ends up as chalk. Which then can be used for walls and other building materials. Renewables are much better but coal is still cleaner than any gasoline generator if done correctly.

That is not factually correct. It still produces more CO2 than natural gas when burned.

Actually China is the leader in renewable energy and EV. Trump keeps trying to prop up the fossil fuel companies. Luckily most US companies States, and cities believe in Climate Change and are continuing adding renewable energy without support from the Federal Government. That will change in 2020.

which is why Tesla is NOT having Panasonic put systems there and build out Tesla cells.
Nor, are they having upper end vehicles. Only bottom of the line.
Nor, will they be exporting from China.
Too low of quality.

what happen to Elon Musk giving away all Tesla’s patents now for the good of making EVs?

Maybe that is why China likes him.

Yeah, that was his original stance, but I have to believe, now that ALL other automakers (minus Toyota) are moving to EV’s, suddenly competition is beginning to get stiffer. With that increased competition, Elon’s realized he has succeeded in his initial goal, of having everyone move away from gas/diesel. So now it’s about staying on top as a quality EV maker, and no company stays on top if they give their competition all their patents and ideas.

FYI..All Tesla patents are free for anyone to use..

> that is to rip them of technology

Curious, considering Elon has said it will not go after people, for copying it’s patent technology.

Well it does highlight the polar opposite approach between the US and China. Musk gets a lot of grief from a large percentage of the US population and a good share of US media companies and the financial industry. I think this is largely about greed and people’s resistance to change. In China he is probably seen as the great asset and nobody really cares what their coal industry thinks.

But Tesla is great for the coal industry in China. Less petrol burned more grid electricity consumed. Since that is mostly generated with coal in China, they should be super happy.

Permanent residency…That’s a remarkable offer indeed in a period that China is cracking down on foreign residents harassing them into leaving as the communist party is reasserting its control over the Chinese people and westerners are probably seen as carriers of all sorts of subversive notions about freedom and democracy.

Lucky Elon…

More than Tesla, Elon has Space X up his sleeve. China will not want to sour this relationship solely for Model 3 SR tech.

If SEC go rouge again Musk may need it. 😉

You mean if Musk goes “rouge ” (rogue?) again, the SEC will have to do it’s job.

First off, the “current climate” is exactly what has enabled this historic meeting of minds. The Chinese realize the gig is up, and they’re desperate to find mutually beneficial partnerships with the West. It should have been this way all along, but too many in the West were happy to sellout to the Chinese.

Thanks, President Trump.

Actually, Trump is doing the right thing when it comes to china. It is probably one of the few items that he has correct.

> The U.S. trade deficit with China was $375 billion in 2017.

And even larger this year!

The Chinese love America, and the all the prior presidents that allowed this to happen.

I guess you never buy anything made in China? It’s the huge demand for China’ products in the U.S. that drives that deficit, not the government. People whine about the trade deficit as they buy more stuff from China because its what they can afford. Look at all the people shopping in Walmart. The majority of products they sell come from China. If the government stopped the import of China goods people would have a fit, because that’s all that many of them can afford. It’s a double edged sword. It negatively impacts jobs here, but it allows people to buy things they couldn’t otherwise afford.

tarrifs on China will make everything imported from China more expensive to buy here bc busineses simply pass the tarrifs aka TAX onto the customers
Too bad Trampanzees are so UNeducated to know how global trade works..

Btw did you know Tramp bankrupted six busineses including two Casinos and it looks like US economy is next..hows that for MAGA

Elon musk better be careful or China will kidnap him, and wishes he was in beautiful US.

China is more interested in SpaceX technology than Tesla. Export of that technology is strictly controlled by Feds but China will try anything to get its hands on it.

If musk were to accept visa for China, it would majorly impact SpaceX.

Musk requires a visa just to get to China.

Visa isn’t green card.

Seriously, you are so clueless on some of those international topics, it is just shocking ignorant…

The Chinese will need a Visa for Mars, so it all balances out. 😉

LOL. Well, I have no problem sending all the ICE and immigration as well as custom agents up to Mars first. =)

“The accelerated timeline – Tesla expects the facility to begin production this year – signals a new way of doing things in the auto industry.”

Ok, let’s come back in December 2019 and see what’s actually produced there.

At best Tesla can slap together some body kits shippped trom the US in a hangar-like room in Shanghai.

That’s NOT a real car factory.

Musk is full of it (not for the first time).

I hear some Canadians got “permanent residency” too. If the trade war keeps going one day Xi may wake up on the wrong side of the bed and use Musk in hostage exchange negotiations.

It is just part of the journey for Musk, from South Africa to Canada to US and then China… =)

LOL at the offer of permanent residency when pretty much the government’s and the elites’ spouses and kids all have foreign citizenships. But hey, sure makes coming to China for meetings or for work much easier (and cheaper)

I think he should move there that country is more in line with his politics.