Elon Musk praises CCP while courting business and handling US space flights

Elon Musk praised the Chinese Communist Party this week for its 100th anniversary as the Tesla CEO seeks to expand his business dealings in China, even though the United States relies on the SpaceX founder to launch satellites and astronauts into space. 

The CCP spent the past week commemorating the party’s founding, pointing to China’s increased economic power while rewriting history on the tens of millions who died during the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and whitewashing systemic repression at Tiananmen Square, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang. 

Chinese state-owned Xinhua News tweeted Wednesday that “China has realized the first centenary goal,” sharing a quote from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who claimed, “China has realized the first centenary goal building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.” 

Musk replied to the tweet, telling his 57.7 million followers: “The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”

Musk’s comments were amplified by state-run media, with the Global Times running an article titled, “Elon Musk praises China’s ‘amazing’ economic prosperity on CPC centenary,” which claimed that “overseas companies congratulated China on its remarkable achievements made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.” 

The Chinese outlet noted Musk shared his tweet with 1.8 million followers on Weibo, China’s carefully monitored social media network.

Recent SEC filings by Tesla show its revenue has grown in China, bringing in $14.87 billion, $12.65 billion, and $15.2 billion from the U.S. in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively compared to Tesla’s revenue of $1.76 billion, $2.98 billion, and $6.66 billion in China during those same years. 

However, it was reported in March that China is restricting the use of Tesla’s vehicles for the military and state-owned companies because of apparent data gathering concerns. Musk reportedly participated in a video conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in March to address concerns and assure Chinese politicians the company would not provide the U.S. government with Chinese data. 

Last week, it was reported “nearly all of the vehicles” that Tesla “has built and sold in China since opening a Gigafactory in Shanghai are being recalled over concerns about the cruise control system.”