After billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wrote an uncharacteristic tweet fawning over the Chinese Communist regime, some interpreted the message as a humiliating attempt to save his company by showing subservience to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“What happened to Tesla China should serve as a warning for other American businesses addicted to the size and the potential of the Chinese market,” author Helen Raleigh wrote in this regard in The Federalist on July 9.
Musk issued the tweet for the date of the CCP’s centennial, generating at the time many reactions of rejection and disappointment from his readers, who did not hesitate to respond to him.
“The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves,” Musk wrote, in a style very contrary to the rebellious and defiant attitude he usually displays.
This tweet supposedly aimed at avoiding thunderous sales losses in China, not only might not stop that trend but bring him losses in the West as well, from the message sent by Twitter user Mark Wakelin, who reminded him of some terrible activities of the CCP.
“Slave Labour, genocide, rampant pollution, aggressive expansionism. Don’t think I’ll be buying a Tesla now!” wrote Wakelin.
Likewise, netizen Emmanuel Rincón rejected the nation of prosperity exalted by Musk, in one of his messages.
“This is not true, in China only the Communist Party elite have amassed great wealth in the country’s major cities. In contrast, hundreds of millions live in extreme poverty, slave labor is the reason for the wealth of the few,” responded Rincón.
Tesla’s setbacks in China
Musk introduced his successful electric car manufacturing company, Tesla, to China in 2018. The CCP granted him juicy subsidies, generous tax breaks, and even preferential treatment for his employees during the pandemic.
However, according to Bloomberg, CCP agencies argued quality and safety problems with Tesla’s vehicles in February, to which Musk humbled himself by accepting those claims.
Then, other problems over data collected by Tesla’s in-car cameras, to which Musk was quick to assure that such data would not leave China.
Next, a viral video complaining about brake failures reached at least 200 million views, and research firm JL Warren Capital attributed the loss of 50% of sales to the video. Musk came down so hard as to beg the CCP to censor the video in the face of this.
What could be the final blow was dealt by the CCP in June by ordering the recall of more than 285,000 vehicles, for alleged software problems.
From then on, the Chinese brand, Nio, took the lead in the market with cheaper and sleeker models.
Victim of the CCP’s “bait-and-switch” strategy
All indications are that Musk was yet another victim of the bait-and-switch strategy of the CCP, whose electric car and aerospace industry was greatly enriched by the expertise of Musk, who is also the owner of SpaceX.
Yu, a person connected with the Hudson Institute, described the scam by saying that the CCP lures companies “into China with initial preferential tax and regulatory treatments. Once you are hooked in China, and have gained initial success, the CCP would not hesitate to use your investments in China as a leverage to force you to comply with a whole list of demands, outright or subtle.”
He added: “including sharing proprietary technologies and knowledge, prohibiting transfer of funds out of China, curtailing your market share inside China and possibly divulging critical national security secrets in your company’s other operations with the U.S. government such as the SpaceX project.”
Despite the fact that it is a recurring damaging method, Western companies are still falling for it and have yet to learn the terrible lesson.