Elon Musk has said he is “a big fan of China”. The Tesla CEO’s remark came after his company had cleared key regulatory hurdles and cleared its path to roll out self-driving software in China. It was Musk’s surprise visit to China, Tesla’s second-largest market after the US.

“I have to say that. I also have a lot of fans in China. Well, the feelings are reciprocated,” he added during his trip to Beijing.

Tesla boss Musk came to Beijing on April 28, Reuters reported, citing sources. He planned to discuss introducing Full Self-Driving (FSD) and sending driving data to other countries.

At least two people have told Reuters that Tesla made a deal with Baidu to use its maps to gather information on public roads in China. This is a significant step toward launching Full Self-Driving carsin the Asian country.

Musk earlier cancelled a trip to India to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi a little over a week ago because he had a lot of work to do at Tesla. He cited “very heavy Tesla obligations”.

Netizens react to Musk’s remark

“Hmmm, this is potentially Elon’s biggest flaw. Chinese people are great, but their government is something entirely different. The Chinese people’s trust and respect for America is growing though, so that’s a positive,” wrote one user on social media.

“True ambassador! You are better than our elected officials. Thank you Elon for helping to maintain the world economy and world peace,” wrote another.

“But x is not in china, what’s reason behind it? China ban on crypto also,” wondered one user on X (formerly Twitter).

“While China is great, your fans here hope you’ll also use influence to promote human rights for all. Progress requires courage at times to stand up for values of openness, fairness & compassion,” came from another.

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Published: 29 Apr 2024, 12:19 PM IST