Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s visit to China on Tuesday attracted great fanfare on Chinese social.
According to Reuters, the visit which was his first in three years also lifted Tesla’s stock prices back in the US.
Following his arrival in Beijing, Musk has visited China’s foreign, commerce, and industry ministers, as well as Zeng Yuqun, chairman of key battery supplier CATL.
Also, Musk’s trip to China is the most recent by a big American CEO since the government altered its zero-COVID policy and reopened its borders.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, visited China in March, and JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Starbucks’ Laxman Narasimhan are also in China this week.
However, in comparison to his peers’ more low-key welcomes, Musk’s visit is a hot trending subject, and his popularity comes despite escalating US-China tensions, with significant interest expressed in his statements on artificial intelligence and electric vehicles.
Even the menu for the 16-course lunch he shared with CATL’s Zeng on Tuesday evening at the posh Man Fu Yan restaurant was lavish, as seen by images uploaded on social media.
Musk’s first trip to China in three years comes as Tesla faces increased competition from Chinese-made electric vehicles and uncertainty about the Shanghai plant’s development plans.
Musk is likely to meet with other senior Chinese officials and visit the Shanghai facility later this week, according to sources, though it was unclear who he would meet with or what concerns they would discuss.