Tesla and Musk’s visit to China shocks India: ‘Questionable ethics or just business as usual?’

Last weekend, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk’s visit to China surprised many in India, as it was preceded by Musk postponing his trip to India due to heavy Tesla obligations. This resulted in media outlets in India expressing confusion and running segments with titles such as “Hello China, Goodbye India?” The visit to China led to an agreement with government officials on a tentative rollout of the Full Self-Driving suite, which was unexpected. Additionally, there have been recent developments in the Tesla space, including company layoffs and adjustments in the automaker’s plans for its next-generation lineup of vehicles.

Tesla is also facing challenges in maintaining demand for its vehicles, a struggle shared by other EV makers. The postponed visit to India has been seized upon by political opponents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who are using it as a point of criticism, citing it as evidence of a lack of faith in the government’s regulatory policies. As a result, Musk’s visit to China has been interpreted as businesses turning to China over India, based on shaky geopolitical tensions between the two countries.

The national spokesperson of the opposition Congress party, Shama Mohamed, expressed this sentiment, highlighting the lack of faith in the Modi government’s regulatory policies in the context of Musk’s surprise visit to China following the cancellation of his planned visit to India.

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