Tesla urged Chinese government to censor criticism in China
of good luck with that department
Outside of the company’s steadfast fanboys, it’s pretty clear to most that the honeymoon phase of the planet’s relationship with Tesla is coming to an end. Whether it’s the regulatory review of the company’s premature and often inaccurate self-driving claims, the loss of significant emissions credits in the US and Europe, the frustration with the often stupid shit that comes out of Elon Musks’ mouths, legal issues related to the SolarCity acquisition, or major quality headaches related to the company’s solar installations and cars, blossoming is, as they say, fallen of the rose.
This also extends to China, where Tesla’s early successes seem to have hit a roadblock. Part of that roadblock recently emerged in the form of a massive recall of almost every Tesla sold in China due to software glitches. In response to bipartisan aggression from the United States (see: TikTok), the Chinese government has also banned the use of all Tesla by government agencies, citing potential privacy concerns. After initially rolling out the red carpet, Chinese authorities have dramatically changed their tone for most of the past year.
As Bloomberg notes, genuine concerns about Tesla’s safety, the government’s anger over Tesla’s pride, and a sour relationship between the United States and China seem to have merged into a big headache for the company. :
“Tesla’s experiment is” a wake-up call that they need to stay between the lines and not be so flamboyant in their success, “said Bill Russo, a former Chrysler executive who is now CEO of Automobility Ltd. , a Shanghai-based consulting firm. “You can’t be so advanced that you get arrogant in the way you behave.” …
Signs of a tougher stance on Tesla emerged as early as February, when agencies including the State Administration for Market Regulation, the most important watchdog in the Chinese market, summoned executives. to discuss what they said were quality and safety issues in Tesla vehicles, including reports of abnormal acceleration and battery fires. After the meeting, Tesla issued a statement so sorry she almost crawled, saying she had “sincerely accepted advice from government departments” and “thought deeply about the shortcomings.”
To counter the change, Tesla has embarked on a massive new public relations campaign on social platforms, and some new ones crawling at the feet of Chinese authorities. But Bloomberg buries a disturbing part of that crawling in a throwaway sentence halfway through the story. Namely, the fact that Tesla went so far as to ask the Chinese government to use its massive censorship apparatus to censor reviews of online businesses:
Previously focused on public media, Tesla is now trying to build relationships with automotive industry publications and influencers on platforms such as Weibo and WeChat, for example by inviting them to factory tours and hosting ” group discussion sessions ”with policy makers, consumers. , and the media. According to people familiar with the matter, he also complained to the government about what he sees as unwarranted attacks on social media, and called on Beijing to use its censorship powers to block some of the posts.. ”
Asking the government to censor online reviews of your products is unlikely to do much to bring public opinion back in favor of Tesla. Again, Tesla is now faced with what is likely a combination of legitimate anger at the company’s documented pride, overblown promises, and potential security concerns, merged with the overarching political goal of the company. China to empower its own electric car manufacturers (Nio, Xpeng) and counter the growth of the United States. animosity. Together, they have led to a 50% drop in Tesla’s new orders in China in the past few weeks alone.
I have a feeling that the coming year Tesla (and his steadfast followers) will focus entirely on the latter (the government is targeting us unfairly because we are Americans!) And less on the obvious need, both to overseas and here in the United States, for a dramatic solution to the company’s product quality problems, ridiculous hype, and less than flattering executive flaws.
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Filed Under: censorship, china, critics, elon musc, grand feuwall