Communist BFF: Elon Musk’s Extensive History of Cozying Up to Red China

musk china
Peter Sparks/AFP/Getty, Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for IAAF

Over the past few years, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made great efforts to impress the Chinese government, stating that the country is “the future” and that America is full of “complacency and entitlement.” Breitbart News has collected the most notorious examples of Musk cozying up to the Communist party, which reached full steam in 2021.

Breitbart News has reported for some time on Tesla and Space CEO Elon Musk’s attempts to gain a foothold in China which includes setting up Tesla factories in the country, praising the communist dictatorship as “the future,” and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Elon Musk of Tesla dancing in China

Elon Musk of Tesla dancing in China (Bloomberg/YouTube)

In 2019, Musk appeared alongside Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai where they discussed the opening of Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory. At the event, Musk stated:

I spend a lot of my time on sustainable energy with tesla with you know electric cars and solar and batteries and that kind of thing and I’m really excited to be here in Shanghai for the Shanghai Gigafactory which is I think that Tesla china team has done an amazing job on. It is really mind-blowing like I’m just astounded by how good the job is and how much progress has been made and I think it’s a good story for the world and to say like look how much progress you can make in China.

This is extremely impressive like my hat is off you know you guys rock so I’ve never seen anything but so fast in my life before. To be  totally Frank I’ve seen some crazy things so you know I think it’s like I really think China is the future.

In August 2020, Musk stated in an interview on the Daily Drive podcast by Automotive News that people in the United States are “entitled” and “complacent” while Chinese citizens are “smart” and “hard-working people.” Breitbart News wrote at the time:

Jason Stein, the publisher of Automotive News who conducted the interview with Musk, asked him “How about China as an EV strategy leader in the world?” to which Musk replied: “China rocks in my opinion. The energy in China is great. People there – there’s like a lot of smart, hard-working people. And they’re really — they’re not entitled, they’re not complacent, whereas I see in the United States increasingly much more complacency and entitlement especially in places like the Bay Area, and L.A. and New York.”

Chinese government officials helped Tesla secure loans worth approximately $1.6 billion last year to construct Tesla’s Shanghai facility. Despite the Shanghai government helping Tesla to begin production again after the region was struck by a Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Musk claims that the Chinese government is not as helpful to Tesla as it is to domestic companies.

“They have been supportive. But it would be weird if they were more supportive to a non-Chinese company. They’re not,” said Musk. During the interview, Musk also compared the U.S., California, and New York to sports teams about to lose their winning status.

“When you’ve been winning for too long you sort of take things for granted,” Musk stated. “The United States, and especially like California and New York, you’ve been winning for too long. When you’ve been winning too long you take things for granted. So, just like some pro sports team they win a championship you know a bunch of times in a row, they get complacent and they start losing.”

In January 2021, musk praised China as “more responsible” than the United States. Speaking to Business Insider, Musk was questioned about the “ethical limitations” of his Tesla’s operation in China. He responded that so far he had a positive experience and that Chinese government officials could “possibly” be “more responsible” for their citizen’s happiness than America is.

Musk stated: “When I meet with Chinese government officials, they’re always very concerned about this. Are people going to be happy about a thing? Is this going to actually serve the benefit of the people? It seems ironic, but even though you have sort of a single-party system, they really actually seem to care a lot about the well-being of the people. In fact, they’re maybe even more sensitive to public opinion than what I see in the US.”

Business Insider’s interviewer and the CEO of the tech firm Axel Springer SE, Mathias Döpfner, questioned Musk on his statement noting China’s extremely poor human rights record. Döpfner stated: “China doesn’t care about human rights. How could there ever be an equal and level playing field. Do you really see an opportunity for Western democracies to win?”

Musk responded by discussing AI, praising American firms such as Google and Deepmind for their superiority over similar Chinese companies, stating: “China’s putting a lot of effort into AI. And they may be making progress. But I’ve not seen progress that is close to Google and DeepMind.”

In July 2021, Tesla reportedly urged Chinese social media censors to shut down criticism of the company’s vehicles.

Via Bloomberg: “At the Shanghai Auto Show in April, a woman who claimed that a brake failure in her Model 3 had caused a crash, nearly killing four of her family members, staged a solitary protest at the Tesla booth. After climbing on top of a vehicle wearing a T-shirt that read “brake lost control” in Chinese, she was quickly hauled away by guards.”

Tesla apologized for the error following the wide criticism the company’s response received on social media and from state-run news sources.

Per Bloomberg Businessweek, Tesla “complained to the government over what it sees as unwarranted attacks on social media, and asked Beijing to use its censorship powers to block some of the posts.”

U.S. legislators have previously expressed concern over the potential spillover effects for national security that can come from the close relationship that Musk — who is a major Pentagon contractor as the CEO of SpaceX— has with the communist regime.

In the same month, Musk’s official Chinese social media accounts celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

The verified accounts for Elon Musk and top Chinese Tesla representatives on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo have all been adorned with personalised backgrounds celebrating the one hundred year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):

Screenshot of Elon Musk's verified account on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo. July 3rd, Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart News

The background celebrating the centenary of the CCP does not appear to have been a mandatory feature by the Chinese site, as other users, including one of Tesla’s main accounts, do not feature the communist banner art.

Therefore it is likely that someone who manages Elon Musk and other Tesla social media accounts in China made the decision to honour the murderous regime.

The social media campaign in China comes as the billionaire tech magnate drew criticism this week for celebrating the CCP on Western social media.

On the anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party, Musk posted a response to the CCP’s newswire agency Xinhua on Twitter — a service which is banned in China — saying: “The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”

The Xinhua post Musk responded to was quoting Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, who claimed: “China has realised 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.”

And continuing his efforts to please Chinese government officials, Musk tweeted an ancient Chinese poem about two brothers fighting in November 2021. Breitbart News wrote:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted a Chinese poem about two brothers fighting out of jealousy, adding in English, “Humankind.” The meaning behind the tweet has caused much debate across Twitter and the Chinese social media network Weibo.

The poem describes the story of two brothers from a royal family during China’s Three Kingdoms period and is commonly taught in Chinese primary schools as a lesson about getting along and working together. The direct translation of the poem reads:

Beanstalks are ignited to boil beans
The beans in the pot cry out
We are born of the same root
Why should we incinerate each other with such impatience?

Some believe that Musk’s tweet refers to the rival dog-themed cryptocurrencies Shiba Inu and Dogecoin, which Musk had tweeted about earlier in the week.

Breitbart News has reported on the cozy relationship between Musk and China for some time and expects to see this partnership grow further in 2022.

Read more about Musk’s dealings with China at Breitbart News here.


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