China is a huge market for Tesla, and it seems the company is in some hot water in the country. This is not to say whether there are real, substantiated issues or simply chaos caused by detractors. At this point, there’s too much gray area to know the truth. Honestly, none of that matters.
What does matter is Tesla is reportedly taking steps to communicate with government regulators in China and expand its government relations team to resolve current issues and get ahead of potential future problems.
The recent issues in China relate to battery fires, car’s camera systems and fears of spying, Tesla vehicle safety related to reported braking concerns, and problems with Tesla’s interaction with customers, as well as its customer service department in general.
Clearly, Tesla is concerned about the reported issues and negative news. It only makes sense that it would engage to clarify and makes sense of the recent matters. However, even though other automakers have a reputation for being involved in industry discussions related to regulatory issues and concerns, reports suggest Tesla hasn’t previously joined in. In fact, the company doesn’t have a PR department, and it’s often absent from forums where most other automakers are represented.
According to Automotive News, other automakers have joined regulatory meetings in China in the past. However, the publication says sources familiar with the matter have noted that Tesla has been absent from such meetings.
Fast-forward to the last few weeks, and, according to Automotive News’ anonymous sources, Tesla has started attending policy meetings in China. The meetings were reportedly related to car data storage, car recycling, emissions, and more.
Other reports from unnamed sources say that Tesla is now expanding its government relations team in China. In addition, it appears Tesla is hiring related to the situation. Automotive News writes:
“According to two recruitment advertisements in April on its WeChat account, Tesla is hiring managers to update a policy database and maintain relationships with government and industry associations to ‘build a harmonious external environment to support Tesla’s business development in the regional market.'”
The article also notes that Tesla said it would set up a data center in China, start a self-inspection process, and work closely with regulators to deal with complaints.