China’s Premier Li Keqiang met with Elon Musk on Jan.9 in Ziguang Hall of Zhongnanhai, China’s central leadership compound, in Beijing, after Tesla broke ground for the $7 billion gigafactory.
“We hope your company can become an in-depth participant of China’s opening and a promoter of the stability of China-US relations,” said Li.
Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Inc., told Li that he wants to build the company’s Shanghai gigafactory as a global example, as he is deeply in love with China and wants to visit the country more often.
“If you do think so, we can offer you a Chinese Green Card,” said Li.
The gigafactory is the first wholly foreign-invested project after foreign equity restrictions on new energy vehicles were lifted in China. “We hope you can get a firm foothold and expand the market,” said Li, after congratulating him on the ground breaking.
According to Musk, Tesla will localize its products for the Chinese market as its next step.
“You and Apple’s founder Steve Jobs think alike. Jobs was also inspired by the eastern Zen culture to optimize iPhone’s interface,” Li said. “Arts and culture, science and technology are all interconnected. Technology without the arts will not go far.”
At the end of the meeting, Musk invited Li to take a look at three models of Tesla’s cars that were parked outside the Ziguang Ge (The Pavilion of Purple Light). “The design should accommodate China’s parking lot sizes, as they are always limited due to the urban land space,” said Li on Tesla’s localization.
“China is and will be the hotspot for foreign investment for a long time, and we welcome companies from all countries to expand their investment in China,” Li said. “We hope that Tesla can seize the chance to not only build the Shanghai factory as the most advanced one in the world, but also meet China’s domestic needs and further expand the market.”
Featured photo credit to www.gov.cn