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Tesla Making More Effort to Build Relationships in China

Tesla is making a greater effort to engage with regulators in China as it faces criticism about safety and service, according to Reuters.

“Tesla’s change of strategy leading to more behind-the-scenes interaction with policymakers in Beijing compared to relatively little previously shows the seriousness with which the U.S. automaker views the setbacks in its second-biggest market,” the report said.

The report said Tesla executives have started attending policy discussions, a regular practice among auto industry executives in China. These discussions can include “auto data storage, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies, car recycling and carbon emissions.”

Tesla has also advertised jobs to update a policy database and maintain relationships with government and industry, the report said.

Tesla has faced a range of criticism in China in recent months. Regulators started an investigation after reports of battery fires, unexpected acceleration, and software update failures. Later, the military banned Tesla vehicles because of concerns about security with cameras in the vehicles. Then, a protestor attracted headlines when she climbed on top of a Tesla at an auto show accusing the automaker of shipping her a car with faulty brakes. 

As the Tesla fleet grows in China, there’s a likelihood of more troubles. So, it makes sense that Tesla would make efforts to build stronger relationships in the country.

Tesla is currently manufacturing the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV at a plant in Shanghai. China currently accounts for 30% of Tesla’s global sales.