Well, how the tables have turned. Latest reports suggest that Tesla might have asked the Chinese government to flex their censorship muscles on posts that are highly critical of Tesla. This comes as a surprise becomes Elon Musk has been known to criticize the US government for its censorship attempts and tight regulations. Tesla has been in hot waters in China after multiple people reported that there was something wrong with their car’s brakes.
Tesla didn’t really handle the situation well. Which led to many people even protesting at Tesla shows in the country. A woman was detained after an angry outburst back in April. She protested because she was in a crash due to the brakes but Tesla didn’t really do anything to rectify the situation. If you think Tesla only has problems in the US then it will be nice to know that the situation is the same in China as well.
While there isn’t real evidence of the brakes being faulty, there are so many posts floating on Weibo and WeChat that many customers sold their Teslas out of fear of encountering said issues. Such issues have forced Tesla to shift focus to appeasing the crowds by building rapport with known auto-industry publications and social media influencers in China.
They’ve done factory tours and discussion sessions with several consumers, regulators, and major media outlets. The biggest thing is that some reports say that Tesla may have pulled Beijing into the matter as well. Asking them to quell some outrage by removing posts that are hyper-critical about Tesla. It seems that Tesla will do anything at this point to improve its image in the Chinese market.
The current situation is a stark contrast to what it was in the beginning. Tesla was welcomed wholeheartedly by China with red carpets and all the fancy stuff. They were even given full control over their Shanghai subsidiary but with the way their image is right now with the people, it isn’t a surprise that Tesla is upping its PR game.
The mounting tensions between China and the US aren’t helping either. Both countries are in a race to see who innovates the most in Artificial Intelligence and Space exploration, with China building its own version of the Internation Space Station as well.