Tesla electric car maker Elon Musk has suffered two hard months in China, and the CEO is now trying to retake Beijing.
The CEO of the company commended China during Interview With the state-run China Central Television, CCTV, he pledged that the country would become its largest market for electric cars in the long term.
He also praised China’s economic and climate goals, and although the country is currently the largest emitter of greenhouse emissions in the world, it has promised to cut emissions significantly over the next decade or so.
Musk told CCTV during the interview: I am very confident about Tesla’s future in China, and I believe that the Chinese economy could do very well over the next decade and become the largest in the world, and it is also committed to a sustainable energy future.
This praise could be pivotal to Tesla’s future in China, as while the company has enjoyed special treatment from the Chinese authorities in the past few years, it has faced intense criticism in recent weeks.
And last month, Chinese officials summoned Tesla to face questions about the quality of its Shanghai-built cars.
Over the weekend, few media outlets reported that the military had prevented Tesla cars from entering its compounds due to concerns that their cameras were being used for spying.
Addressing espionage concerns, Musk said at a Chinese development conference: His company’s cars will never be used for such purposes.
But his comments via CCTV went a step further towards praising Beijing and underscoring the importance of the market to Tesla.
China accounts for a fifth of Tesla’s revenue, and it is its second largest market after the United States.
“In the long term, China will be our biggest market, where we manufacture the most vehicles and where we have the largest number of customers,” Musk told CCTV.
Referring to Beijing’s ambitious blueprint for economic dominance over the next five years, Musk said he admires the country’s climate goals.
The Chinese president said last September that the country will be carbon neutral by 2060, and the government has detailed some ways in which it intends to achieve this goal, including building more nuclear power plants and clean energy facilities.
And Elon Musk said: These are very strong goals, and I think they are great goals, and I hope more countries will have these goals, and I am very confident that the future of China will be great.
Although he does not speak Chinese, Musk is one of the most famous American business leaders in China.
A video of him dancing on stage during the Shanghai-made Model 3 debut early last year was shared on Weibo.
The Premier once said: He would be happy to grant Musk a Chinese green card after the American businessman said: He loves China so much.
Musk has about 1.7 million followers on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, more than the CEO of Apple, but fewer than Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has 4.1 million followers.