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Elon Musk’s Tesla and 15 Chinese automakers have committed to enhancing China’s “core socialist values" as a response to Beijing's demand that the local price war between them ends.
The joint letter: On Thursday, the 16 automakers, including Tesla’s biggest Chinese rival, BYD, signed a joint letter by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology at a motor industry conference in Shanghai, reported Financial Times.
According to Miao Changxing, a senior inspector at the ministry, China's car industry needs to stop “reckless” price-cutting.
The letter, which aligns with China’s ruling Communist Party and President Xi Jinping, is meant to end the EV price-cutting war in China, the world’s biggest car market.
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The EV war: The commitment comes after Tesla cut prices on its Model 3 and Model Y cars last October amid rising domestic competition, leading Tesla and BYD to become the primary beneficiaries while smaller rivals suffered declines.
The letter also comes as governments tackle the climate crisis through sustainable technology.
Undermining Tesla: Musk, who has claimed to be “socialist” and a "free speech absolutist" in the past, has pledged to reduce Tesla’s abnormal pricing to keep its presence and ensure fair competition in China’s market. However, Yaqiu Wang, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, said the commitment has undermined Tesla’s standing.
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“Failing to comply with ‘core socialist values’ has been frequently used by authorities to punish speeches that are critical of the Chinese government,” Wang said.
Self-driving: In a separate speech at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference on Thursday, Musk said that the car industry could achieve “nearly full self-driving capability” later this year.
“As long as the Chinese people decide to do well in one thing, they will, including AI,” Musk said.
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