Elon Musk reaffirmed Tesla’s commitment to China and said the automaker will continue to expand its investments in the country.
Musk’s comments came in a pre-recorded question-and-answer style stream at the World Internet Conference, hosted by the China Cyberspace Administration.
This is the second time this month that Musk has been highly praising the nation that it is imperative for its electric vehicle business, saying it is a “world leader in digitization.” Less than two weeks ago, Musk, in another prerecorded feed at the New Energy Vehicle World Congress, said that Chinese automakers were “the most competitive in the world.”
“My frank observation is that China devotes a lot of resources and efforts to the application of the latest digital technologies in different industries, including automotive, which makes China a world leader in digitization,” Musk said in the latest video. “Tesla will continue to expand its investments and R&D efforts in China. “
Tesla has tried to improve its reputation in China after a series of negative reviews. The company has undergone regulatory scrutiny on its privacy and a handful of recalls in China. Beijing has reportedly restricted or banned the use of Tesla electric vehicles by military and state personnel.
Musk called for data protection in his speech, clarifying what types of data are stored locally.
“At Tesla, we are pleased to see that a number of laws and regulations have been issued to strengthen data management,” Musk said.
“Tesla has established a data center in China to locate all the data generated by our business here, including production, sales, service and billing. All personally identifiable information is stored in China without being transferred abroad. Only in very rare cases, for example, spare parts orders from abroad are data approved for international transfer. “
The company opened a large factory in Shanghai in 2019. Tesla sold 44,264 Chinese-made vehicles in August, of which 31,379 were exported. This is an increase from the 32,968 China-made vehicles sold in July and the 33,155 units sold in June.
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