Elon Musk praised Chinese automakers as “the most competitive in the world” at an online forum Friday, where the Tesla Inc. chief also touched upon data security and the nation’s “great potential” as a market for electric vehicles.
Musk was in flattery mode in his pre-recorded appearance at the World New Energy Vehicle Congress, taking place in the southern Chinese island of Hainan. China is the world’s biggest EV market and of critical importance to Tesla, particularly after a rocky few months that dented its reputation in the country.
“I have a great deal of respect for the many Chinese automakers” for driving EV technologies, Musk said during a spiel that barely lasted three minutes. He noted that the country’s carmakers are particularly strong on software. “Public sentiment and support for electric vehicles is at a never before seen inflection point because they know it is the future,” he said.