Elon Musk Heads to Beijing to Meet Chinese Premier Over EV Discussion

The billionaire CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, got the green light from the Chinese government for his electric cars’ autonomous driving capabilities during an unannounced trip to the country.

On Sunday, a picture of Musk with Chinese Premier Li Qiang appeared on his social media site, X.

Despite portraying himself as an advocate for free speech, Musk was subjected to much mockery in the comments section of his article due to his associations with a very repressive and dictatorial government. His motivation for visiting China was evident and had nothing to do with free speech. He wanted to ensure that Tesla got formal certification for its Internet-enabled autonomous driving capabilities before anybody else.

This journey came soon after Musk, claiming his heavy Tesla obligations, postponed an intended trip to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Declining sales and growing competition in the electric car industry, especially from Chinese competitors, led the business to announce intentions to cut its worldwide staff by 10% earlier this month.

A group in China known as the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) offers consulting and certification services for cars by bringing together government officials and business moguls. CAAM, a long-standing body, was recently assigned the certification of Internet-connected autos to verify compliance with China’s data security rules.

Many people worldwide see this accreditation as a political status symbol. Governments worldwide are wary of Chinese smart vehicles because of concerns that they may be used as surveillance devices. The Chinese military intelligence is supposedly the recipient of this data. The Beijing leadership, worried about the effect on its overseas car sales, went to great lengths to portray its vehicles as safe and discreet.

CAAM was tasked with examining foreign automobiles, including Teslas, which have cameras installed to observe the inside and outside of the vehicle. To guarantee that CAAM-endorsed Teslas,

Musk thought visiting with his old acquaintance Li Qiang in China was critical.

Experts in the field say that, compared to other markets, China’s traffic offers excellent opportunities to train autonomous driving algorithms in a shorter amount of time due to the large number of pedestrians and bicycles.

Using its current electric vehicle (EV) platforms and manufacturing lines, Musk said last week that Tesla would release more reasonably priced vehicles. They will also unveil a new “robotaxi” technology that can drive itself.