Elon Musk Cancels Trip to India, Makes Sudden Visit to China Instead

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, shocked and angered Indian media this week by canceling a scheduled trip there and instead making an unexpected visit to China.

Musk was expected for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, where he would also launch a $3 billion Tesla plant and talk about importing Teslas into India. But he suddenly canceled the trip.

Musk unexpectedly visited China, where he met Premier Li Qiang. After announcing a partnership with Baidu to provide navigational data, China gave the go-ahead to Tesla’s Internet-linked self-driving capability.

The Indian government has remained silent about Musk’s trip cancellation and China’s visit.

Modi and his party would have benefited from Musk’s initial intentions to announce a hefty investment after their meeting. The parliamentary election started on April 19 and will run until mid-May.

In response to Musk’s rejection, the Indian opposition ridiculed Modi for submitting to Musk’s demands and implying that Modi’s India may not be as appealing to international companies.

According to Indian media, Musk appears vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party due to his large interests in the country. In contrast to his submissive behavior toward China, an enthusiastic supporter of the world’s most repressive censor, Musk’s public remarks toward some governments, including the US, are often aggressive.

Policy changes and access to low-interest financing were two of the many benefits that Elon Musk had when establishing Tesla’s operations in China. Because of these advantages, the Shanghai plant could be set up without a local partner, which is unusual for foreign companies in China.

Musk’s hasty departure for China rather than India might have been an attempt by the CCP to intimidate Musk’s interests in a manner that he is well aware India would not because his billions in investments could still be well-received in India. Because he may lose sales of Tesla vehicles due to Chinese legislation, Musk made a necessary choice.