Tesla's Elon Musk Meets With China's Premier Li Qiang in Beijing


Elon Musk, the tech billionaire and CEO of Tesla, held discussions with China's second-ranking official, Premier Li Qiang, who assured ongoing openness to foreign companies. Musk, among the wealthiest individuals globally, arrived in China earlier on his second visit within a year to the largest market for electric vehicles worldwide.

Li had promised the country would do more to help foreign firms. "China's very large-scale market will always be open to foreign-funded firms", Li was quoted as saying. "China will stick to its word and will continue working hard to expand market access and strengthen service guarantees".

Beijing would also provide foreign companies with a better business environment so that firms from all over the world can have peace of mind while investing in China", Li added. Musk later said on X, which he also owns, that he was honoured to meet with Li, adding the pair "have known each other now for many years".

Musk possesses significant business stakes in China, with his last visit occurring in June of the previous year. Tesla has not disclosed the details of his current trip. According to CCTV, he commended the "dedicated and astute Chinese team" at his Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai during his discussion with Li. "Tesla is willing to take the next step in deepening cooperation with China to achieve more win-win results," Musk reportedly added.

Earlier in the day, the billionaire met with the head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Ren Hongbin, "to discuss next steps in cooperation and other topics", CCTV said. The mercurial magnate is a controversial figure in the West, but in China, Tesla's electric vehicles have become a staple of middle-class urban life. Having once derided Chinese EVs, Musk described their manufacturers this year as being "the most competitive car companies in the world".

Musk's company has encountered challenges in the world's second-largest economy. His visit to China coincides with a fierce price war among companies striving to gain an edge in the highly competitive EV market. China's domestic automotive giant BYD, known as 'Build Your Dreams', surpassed Tesla in EV sales in the fourth quarter of last year, claiming the title of the world's top seller. Although Tesla regained this position in the first quarter of this year, BYD maintains a strong lead in its domestic market. Musk's trip aligns with Beijing's hosting of a major auto show.

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