Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of U.S. electric car maker Tesla, has sparked public debate with a series of tweets praising China’s economic development on the day of the Communist Party’s centennial celebration.
After the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that Xi Jinping had announced that China had achieved its first 100-year goal, Musk left a message below the tweet saying, “The economic boom China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in terms of infrastructure! I encourage everyone to see it for themselves.” He later posted the same comment on Weibo.
The comment immediately became a hot topic on the Internet. While some Chinese netizens left messages of support, many more were cynical, calling Musk an “old party member” and “secretary of Tesla’s party branch”, while others mocked him for visiting Xinjiang and Wuhan’s South China Seafood Market in person.
In recent months, Tesla China has been experiencing frequent suspected brake failures, triggering the attention of regulators. Another foreign media report, the Chinese government has restricted the use of Tesla cars by the military, sensitive industries state-owned enterprises and other personnel, on the grounds that Tesla may lead to national security information leakage.