Elon Musk’s business ties to China have become a source of concern for lawmakers in Washington. Reports from Sunday, March 20, specified how Republican lawmakers are worried about China gaining access to inside information. What is worth noting is that SpaceX does not even have any direct connections to China. However, these lawmakers worry that China may be able gather information through the company’s overseas suppliers that could have possible ties with Beijing.
Tesla was under intense scrutiny in January this year for establishing a showroom in Xinjiang, which is a controversial area in the country. This occurrence brought out the issues concerning human rights in question The government of China was alleged to have committed crimes in the region of Xinjiang. These crimes were connected to the violation of human rights against a section of the society.This opening of the showroom took place a couple of weeks following signing of a bill by President Biden which was approved by Congress. The bill was to make sure any products imported from Xinjiang were not produced by means of forced labour.
Utah’s Rep. Chris Stewart told the WSJ that despite being a fan of Musk and SpaceX, “anyone would be concerned if there are financial entanglements with China.”
According to analysts, Musk had not technically broken any laws by the launch of Xinjiang “on its electric journey.” However, it came as a blow in the face of Washington when Musk initiated the selling of vehicles to people who are profiting from the Uyghurs’ suffering. Additionally, Scott Paul, Alliance of American Manufacturing’s president, referred to Tesla’s actions as “despicable.”
Musk got hold of a cheap piece of land in Shanghai in 2019. It has now transformed into a Gigafactory from where about 50% of Tesla’s global deliveries took off in 2021. Marco Rubio, Florida’s Senator, remarked how the Chinese Communist Party could gain from a firm functioning in China. The party could possibly pressurise and take advantage of the company carrying out work from there.
Rubio persuaded his colleagues in the Senate, in December 2021, to support his American Financial Markets Integrity and Security Act. If passed, it would significantly limit American investments in China. Specifically, it would forbid US investment in Chinese firms that could prove to be a risk to America’s national security.
Various reports revealed details on Tesla’s factory situated on Chinese land. Notably, China still holds ownership of the land on which Tesla has its factory, Hence, the contract still demands Tesla to generate a certain figure of tax revenue to remain on the land.