Tesla draws criticism after opening of concession in Xinjiang

Tesla came under fire from political leaders and human rights groups on Tuesday after announcing the opening of a concession in the Xinj...


Tesla came under fire from political leaders and human rights groups on Tuesday after announcing the opening of a concession in the Xinjiang region, where China is accused of detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in indoctrination camps.

“Together, let’s start the journey of pure electricity in Xinjiang,” Tesla said in an article on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. The post included photos of a ribbon cutting at the dealership in Urumqi, the regional capital, and a Tesla sedan decorated with red and white balloons.

“Non-nationality companies are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover genocide and forced labor in the region,” Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter.

Mr Rubio noted that the announcement came shortly after President Biden signed legislation this would ban the importation of a wide range of products made in Xinjiang, unless companies can prove that they were not made with forced labor.

Tesla is not the only automaker operating in Xinjiang. Volkswagen, which sells more cars in China than in any other country, has been criticized for operating a factory in Urumqi. The automaker said it did not use forced labor.

China is the world’s largest auto market and is growing, while sales in Europe and the United States are stagnant. The dependence of automakers on China makes them vulnerable to pressure from government officials to establish operations in Xinjiang, an arid region in the northwest of the country that has lagged behind other regions. in terms of economic development.

Tesla, which dominates electric car sales globally, operates a plant in Shanghai that Chinese authorities have allowed it to run without a local joint venture partner, a privilege it had not previously granted to other automakers. foreigners. China is one of the largest markets for the company’s cars, and Tesla also exports vehicles from the Shanghai plant to other countries.

China has denied cracking down on ethnic Uyghur people, mounted determined campaign propaganda campaign push the narrative that Xinjiang is a happy and prosperous place.

Tesla’s criticism tarnishes what was otherwise a triumphant moment for the automaker after announcing that sales in 2021 increased by almost 90 percent, to 936,000 vehicles. The increase was higher than analysts’ expectations and prompted Tesla shares to climb 13%. The title lost ground on Tuesday.

Michael forsythe contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tesla draws criticism after opening of concession in Xinjiang
Tesla draws criticism after opening of concession in Xinjiang
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