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Tesla CEO Elon Musk made an unannounced visit to Beijing on April 28 to discuss the rollout of fully self-driving software and reportedly asked for permission to transfer data collected in China overseas. ing.

Chinese state media reported that he met with Premier Li Qiang, who praised Tesla's development in China as a successful example of U.S.-China economic cooperation.

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Tesla introduced fully self-driving (FSD) software four years ago, but it's not yet available in China, the company's second-largest market in the world. Musk recently suggested that Chinese customers may soon have access to FSD.

Mr. Musk is seeking approval to transfer data collected in China overseas to train Tesla's self-driving technology algorithms. Since 2021, Tesla has stored all Chinese vehicle data in Shanghai in accordance with Chinese regulations and does not send any data to the United States.

Mr. Musk's visit was not made public, and the person who disclosed the information spoke on condition of anonymity. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not say whether Musk and Li discussed FSD or the data during their meeting.

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During his visit, Musk also met with Ren Hongbin, chairman of the China International Trade Promotion Council, the organizer of the Beijing Auto Show. Musk expressed optimism about the future of electric cars in China, saying that eventually all cars will be electric.

Musk's visit to China follows his cancellation of a planned visit to India due to commitments with Tesla. Tesla recently announced job cuts due to declining sales and increased competition in the electric vehicle market.

This visit coincides with the Beijing Auto Show, and Tesla does not have a booth this year. Other industry leaders also attended the event, including GM CEO Mary Barra.

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Grace Tao, Tesla's China vice president, published a commentary arguing that self-driving technology will drive growth in the EV industry. She highlighted Tesla's leadership in self-driving research and development.

Musk previously announced plans for new, cheaper models and “robotaxis” equipped with self-driving technology. Tesla stock has fallen this year, and the company reported its first quarterly revenue decline since 2020.

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