Tesla's In China It's Just A Question Of How Long

(MENAFN- Asia Times) One day the
experience in
will be a business school case study, though not in a good way.

Elon Musk
thinks he has a special relationship with powerful Chinese officials. There is evidence, he says. He cites Tesla as the first foreign automaker not required by the Chinese government to take on a local partner.

However, the Chinese communists are highly skilled at playing world-renowned elite to their tune. And the“special relationship” reels them in every time.

This has nothing to do with the global slowdown in
electric vehicle

China's largest EV manufacturer BYD's presentation at the Beijing International Motor Show was attended by many reporters. Photo: Kyodo China's foreign business 'utility timetable'

In Musk and Tesla's case, the“takeover” was scheduled when Tesla started sniffing around the idea of locating in China. The clock then started ticking on what a friend with decades of experience in China calls the
Chinese Communist Party 's (CCP's)“utility timetable .”

The history of foreign ventures in the
People's Republic of China
(PRC) goes like this:

  • Foreign company flourishes with unlimited local support.
  • Foreign company builds a market.
  • Foreign company becomes the operating model for local providers to copy.
  • A local company and its stakeholders build up proficiency at some level of sustainability, sometimes by poaching key employees and intellectual property.
  • Foreign company starts coming under pressure whose goal is driving it out of the market or forcing it to sell its assets to the local company.
  • Local company takes over the market with second-rate products.
  • Foreign company exits China.

A foreign company lasts as long in China as it provides utility to the party.

When the party perceives no more utility to be gained, the hammer comes down.

By the time Tesla went into China this had happened so many times before that it should have been obvious. Now, the CCP's “utility timetable” for Tesla seems to be accelerating.


Elon Musk and Premier Li Qiang in Beijing. Photo: from Musk's April 28, 2024, tweet on X.


Asia Times

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