Elon Musk’s quiet, untweeted China journey

Elon Musk’s quiet, untweeted China journey


Ever since China lifted most of its pandemic-era journey restrictions in January, overseas executives have been swarming in. And Musk had good motive to go: China is an important a part of Tesla’s electric-vehicle empire, each as a market and as a manufacturing powerhouse. However because the proprietor of Starlink, SpaceX, and not too long ago Twitter, Musk has a way more sophisticated relationship with the nation.

There’s little data in English about Musk’s China journey. That’s primarily as a result of Musk, normally energetic on the social media platform he simply acquired, stayed very quiet throughout the entire journey. Whereas Twitter is banned in China, individuals have all types of VPN instruments to entry it. Nonetheless, Musk didn’t appear to wish to give the impression that he was on Twitter whereas there. He solely tweeted a single time concerning the journey, after he left China. Actually, he even stopped commenting on different tweets—one thing he usually does dozens of occasions day by day. 

However from the general public readouts posted by Chinese language authorities web sites and sightings of Musk shared on Chinese language social media, we are able to reconstruct his journey from Tuesday to Thursday.

He had fairly a busy itinerary: in 44 hours, Musk met with at the least three high-level Chinese language officers, dined with the CEO of the world’s largest EV battery provider, and visited Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Shanghai, amongst different issues. 

Musk’s personal jet landed in Beijing on the afternoon of Could 30, native time. He met with Qin Gang, China’s new overseas minister and former ambassador to the US, the identical day. In accordance with the ministry’s press launch, Musk mentioned within the assembly that he strongly opposes decoupling provide chains between the US and China, as a result of the 2 nations are “interlinked, like conjoined twins inseparable from one another.” That night, he had dinner with Zeng Yuqun, the CEO of CATL, which is a key provider of batteries to Tesla automobiles. 

Musk holding hands with Qin Gang, China's Minister of Foreign Affairs


The following day, he met with two extra Chinese language ministers, these answerable for commerce and know-how. Reuters reported that he additionally visited Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang—China’s sixth-highest-ranking celebration official—that afternoon, however the assembly has not been made public by the federal government or Musk. Within the night, he flew to Shanghai and headed to the Tesla Gigafactory, the place he took photographs with workers that he would later submit on Twitter.

Elon and the team of the Shanghai gigafactory pose for a group photo


On the morning of June 1, his final day in China, Musk squeezed in a single final assembly with Chen Jining, the Shanghai celebration secretary, earlier than his jet left for Texas at 11:23 a.m.

Musk is just not the primary American government to go to China this 12 months: earlier than him, there have been Apple’s Tim Cook dinner, Basic Motors’s Mary Barra, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, Starbucks’s Laxman Narasimhan, and extra. However thus far, Musk has acquired the largest welcome, each from Chinese language authorities officers and from the individuals on Chinese language social media.


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