Wednesday's notice sought to recruit designers and other staff to help fulfill the goal, and called for applications by Feb. 1, but did not identify the center's location.
"In order to achieve a shift of 'Made in China' to 'Designed in China', Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has proposed a very cool thing — set up a design and research center in China," it read.
It was not immediately clear when the center might begin operations, however.
Tesla's first factory outside the United States is in the eastern city of Shanghai, and it started delivering China-made Model 3 vehicles this month.
The stock move was fueled by a surprise third-quarter profit, progress at the new China factory and better-than-expected fourth quarter deliveries.
Reporting by Brenda Goh.