Elon Musk received a hero’s welcome in China this week, according to a Wednesday report from Fortune.
Elon Musk made an unexpected visit to China this week. Late on Tuesday night, China’s official news agency tweeted a photo of the Tesla chief chatting with Vice Premier Wang Yang, one of the country’s top officials in charge of the economy, in what a close watcher of China’s automotive industry says may go down as a breakthrough meeting.
According to Fortune‘s reporting, Tesla may be approaching a deal with “a Chinese automaker to produce cars locally.”
This is surely one reason China is starting to love Elon Musk, but are there others?
- Recently, Musk received a $1.7 billion windfall from China’s Tencent, which purchased 8.1 million shares of Tesla (or around five percent of the company); Tencent is a “secretive” company who has supported the Communist Party’s tight internet controls in China
- China is also the home to the world’s rare earths production; rare earths are critical components in electric vehicles (EVs, like Musk’s Tesla) and solar panels (Musk’s SolarCity makes and installs solar panels)
Musk’s mysterious visit to the communist nation is worth keeping an eye on, and it begs the question: why, exactly, does China love Elon Musk?