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Elon Musk heads to China in a surprise visit after postponing India visit: Report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has headed to China on Sunday on a surprise visit to the country, which is also the second biggest market of the electric vehicle giant, media reports stated. Musk's visit to China comes a week after his visit to India was postponed due to 'Tesla obligations'.

Elon Musk heads to China in a surprise visit after postponing India visit: Report
First Published Apr 28, 2024, 2:39 PM IST

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on a flight to Beijing on Sunday to begin a surprise tour in the electric car maker's second-largest market, according to reports, citing two individuals familiar with the situation. Musk's journey to China was not officially announced, and the individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

Tesla did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Musk is planning to meet with senior Chinese authorities in Beijing to discuss the launch of Full-Self Driving (FSD) software in China and to acquire permission to export data collected in the nation overseas to train algorithms for its autonomous driving technology, according to reports.

Since 2021, Tesla has maintained all data acquired by its Chinese fleet in Shanghai, as required by Chinese regulations, and has not moved any of it back to the US. The US EV maker released FSD, the most automated version of its Autopilot software, four years ago but has yet to make it accessible in China, despite consumer demand.

Elon Musk cancelled his India trip

His trip came a week after Musk cancelled a planned trip to India where he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was due to announce plans to enter the South Asian market. 

Musk stated in June of last year that he planned to visit India in 2024, adding that he was convinced that the electric vehicle will arrive "as soon as humanly possible". PM Modi has also issued an invitation for the millionaire to visit India. "I would like to thank PM Modi for his support and hopefully, we will be able to announce something in the future," Musk told reporters at the time.

In November, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal visited Tesla's manufacturing facility in California's Fremont and said that the US electric car maker is on its way to double its components imports from India. 

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