lørdag 1. mai 2021

Beijing's campaign to rein in Tesla has begun, now experts say it has a limited time to sell cars before it gets canceled

When Tu Le found out what had happened at the Tesla kiosk — just one room over from where he was looking around at the Shanghai Auto Show — he knew he had missed something monumental. It's not every day a woman in a "brakes don't work" T-shirt interrupts the show by jumping on top of a red Model 3 in protest, screaming about Tesla's refusal to fix a brake issue with her car. She was ultimately carried away by security.

Le, the founder of Sino Auto Insights, a newsletter that tracks China's electric-vehicle market, had been following the growing public dissatisfaction with the company for weeks. In an interview with TechNode earlier this month, he dismissed concerns that complaints about the company's customer service and safety bubbling up on social media would slow its sales growth. He reasoned, for all the unhappy customers there are "a ton more" who love Tesla.

But things in China can change fast — especially when the central government decides it's time to shake things up. And in the past few weeks, Beijing — through state-controlled media — has joined the chorus of Tesla critics, and it has the most important and loudest voice of all.