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Tesla CEO Elon Musk to meet Shanghai officials and tour factory in China

9 April: Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, is planning to travel to China this weekend, where he will have a meeting with local authorities in Shanghai and may also tour the company’s plant in the city, according to sources who asked not to be named as the trip is not public yet. The sources added that the plans could change at any time.

Tesla did not comment on Musk’s visit when contacted outside of normal business hours.

Musk’s trip comes amid rising tensions between China and the US over various issues, such as the alleged shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon by the US military, and China’s alliance with Russia in the face of Ukraine’s conflict.

Musk will be accompanied by Tom Zhu, who was recently appointed as Tesla’s senior vice president of automotive. Zhu joined Tesla in 2014 and oversaw the construction and operation of the company’s factory in Shanghai, where he lived during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Zhu is one of the four top executives of Tesla, along with Musk, chief financial officer Zachary Kirkhorn, and senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering Drew Baglino.

China is Tesla’s second-largest market after the US, accounting for 22.3% of its revenue in 2022. The company increased its deliveries from its Shanghai plant in March. In October last year, Tesla slashed prices on its vehicles made at its Shanghai factory, making them up to 14% cheaper than before, and in some cases almost 50% less costly than in the US and Europe. In April this year, Tesla also reduced prices on its entire electric vehicle lineup in the US for the third time this year, with some models getting a $5,000 cut.

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