Musk and his Tesla electric car have been getting a lot of attention in mainland China lately. Outsiders have questioned whether Musk has fallen into the Chinese Communist Party’s “feed, trap and kill” routine for businessmen.
On the first day of the Shanghai Auto Show on April 19, a woman surnamed Zhang, claiming to be a Tesla owner, jumped on the roof of a Tesla Model 3 and shouted “Tesla brakes are not working”. The woman wore a shirt with “brake failure” on it and claimed that she was driving a Tesla Model 3 when the brakes failed in February this year, causing a car accident that nearly killed her family.
Afterwards, some people found out that the woman entered the auto show that day with a pass from the auto parts supplier “Webster”. “The incident was also reported on the Internet, where it was pointed out that the car that picked her up that day also happened to be an Azera car, making the incident highly suspicious.
However, on April 20, the official media Global Times and Xinhua News Agency, as well as the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China, issued a series of articles criticizing Tesla, almost triggering another wave of “anti-American empire” events. Tesla is not allowed in many places, and a prominent red sign was placed in front of a hospital in Handan, which reads “Tesla cars are not allowed inside”. In addition, some highway gates in Guangzhou started to restrict Teslas from entering the road, with several traffic police officers stopping them and asking them to pull over and leave. Although the city of Guangzhou issued an announcement saying that it was only a temporary traffic control and did not restrict the cars, photos from netizens returning from the scene and conversations in several Chinese electric car groups suggest otherwise.
The aggressive stance of the Communist Party’s official media and the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs has led to an outcry from a small group of sensitive “patriotic netizens” who want Tesla to “get the hell out of China”. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, hastened to cool down the fire, calling on netizens on Weibo to “teach a lesson, but not to let companies like Tesla leave the Chinese market.”
The commentary suggests that the Chinese Communist Party may have wanted Tesla’s technology and Tesla’s database, or rocket recovery technology, but Musk did not agree.
What happened to Tesla in China is a typical case of China-style investment. When Tesla started to enter the Chinese market, after the Shanghai government signed a contract with Tesla in 2018, the government provided leveled land in 3 months and handed over the completed plant to Tesla in 8 months. This is a treatment that no Chinese company can enjoy. Once Tesla started normal production, the Chinese government withdrew its “kind-eyed” face and revealed its “fierce and evil” face.
What is happening to Tesla is what will happen to all foreign investors who want to make a fortune in the Chinese market. Without the true rule of law, foreigners entering the Chinese market are like sheep in the mouth of the wolf. Local Communist Party officials know that they have to play the role of grandson when attracting investment; when foreign investors come in, they are the grandson.
So if you want to abandon your dignity in order to make a fortune, can you listen to the CCP on everything? If you really want to go this far, you are free to do so, but you have to make sure that you “follow everything” and take the right side politically. The Chinese Communist Party is a regime ruled by people, everything is related to politics, so the representative must follow the right political wind. Is the source of internal information correct? This is something that even Chinese businessmen can’t figure out.
Let’s take a look at the example of Chinese businessman Jack Ma, and it will be clearer. Jack Ma once said, “No Chinese entrepreneur is a good end.” Jack Ma himself has also confirmed his prediction, and has been in trouble everywhere recently.
First, Ma’s Ant Financial Services was called off the market, then his investment in Lakeside University was forced to stop, and now Alibaba has been accused by the Chinese Communist Party of monopolizing the market and fined a huge amount. on April 10, 2021, China’s General Administration of Market Supervision accused e-commerce giant Alibaba Group of violating the Anti-Monopoly Law and ordered Alibaba Group to stop its illegal behavior and imposed a 4% fine on its 2019 sales in China of 455.712 billion yuan of fines, totaling 18.228 billion yuan, which is the highest fine amount since the implementation of the Anti-Monopoly Law.
In response, various rumors about Jack Ma have been fermenting in the community. Some say that he cursed the current CCP leader at a private drinking party and got into trouble; some say that he was the money bag of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin and became a victim of CCP’s internal struggle; some say that he was a stumbling block for CCP’s move to advance the country and retreat the people; some say that he had political ambitions and thus became a target of CCP’s leader to crack down on dissidents.
However, Epoch Times commentator Shi Shan put it well: the problem with Ma and Ant Financial is not a problem of monopoly, but a problem of conflict of interests, or a problem of conflict of interests between private companies and the CCP’s financial institutions, between private companies and the People’s Bank of China, and fundamentally, a problem of conflict of interests between individuals and the CCP. “When the problem reaches this level, I’m afraid Ma is in a bad way.”
Simply put, Beijing does not want a competitive market, so anti-monopoly and financial risks are excuses. The real goal of the Chinese Communist government is total monopoly control of Chinese society, and their so-called “most advanced” and crucial tools are big data and digital yuan. The digital renminbi is not just blockchain technology, it also includes a series of circulation and supervision means, which requires mastering almost all data, especially financial-related data, and only by mastering these data can AI artificial intelligence be used to monitor automatically. This set is the means and methods of the Chinese Communist Party for the Internet on the mainland, which is what Xi Jinping said at the 19th National Congress, “modernizing government governance”.
Chen Yun, a contemporary of Deng Xiaoping, once defined the “market economy with Chinese characteristics” as a “birdcage economy”. In other words, the government is a cage, and the market economy and private enterprises are the birds in the cage.
As you can imagine, if the bird in the cage wants to fly freely, it will definitely become the target of the Communist Party’s crackdown. In other words, the development of private enterprises has always been controlled by the CCP authorities, and just because it does not care now does not mean that it will not care in the future. If private economic development conflicts with its interests, or if it simply does not have enough resources to harvest leeks, individuals will be suppressed by the CCP government for various reasons, and in serious cases, they will even lose their personal freedom and lives. Whether or not to do business in such an environment is up to your own judgment.