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A truck transports new Tesla cars at its factory in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS)
A truck transports new Tesla cars at its factory in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS)

China refutes claims Tesla is putting its plans for Shanghai plant on thaw

  • China has sought to negate reports that Tesla is suspending expansion plans around its Shanghai facility.
  • Shanghai became home to the first Tesla facility outside of the US.
  • US-China tensions related to trade have strained ties between the two countries.

Recent weeks have seen tensions between US and China increase owing to several factors. Recent weeks have also seen the harmony between US electric vehicle (EV) giant Tesla and China, its largest market, being ruptured - again due to several reasons. But at a time when reports in US have suggested that Tesla is putting on hold plans of expanding its Shanghai facility, China has come out to question these reports and sought to suggest all is well.

In a report published in Global Times, an arm of the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party in the country, it is explained that work has been continuing at the Tesla Shanghai plant with as much intensity as ever before. It goes on to claim that work on various expansion projects is also progressing normally and said that one of its reporters at the site saw leveling work being done, a sign that the expansions are on track.

While Global Times also mentioned that it had not received a response to its queries from Tesla, it sought to refute reports that Tesla is putting on hold acquisition plans around its existing plant.

Reuters, quoting sources, had previously reported that trade-related tensions between US and China may have made Tesla put on hold its plans of acquiring more land in Shanghai in a bid to turn it into a major export hub.

China remains the largest market for Tesla, unsurprising also because the country is the world's largest auto market overall. But Tesla sold fewer units here in April than it had in March, leading some to question if preferences are shifting to rivals - local as well as global.

Suspicions that Tesla cars with on-board cams may record classified data at sensitive locations, concerns over faulty parts and other factors in recent times have been a headache for Tesla in China.

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