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Well, it looks like we finally might have some clarity as to why Elon Musk was bashing bitcoin.
The answers - we think - could lie in Tesla's sales numbers in China. After an April where Tesla sales collapsed, ostensibly as a result of an ongoing rocky relationship between the company and the CCP, China's passenger car association just reported that the company's May numbers were "back on track", of sorts, rising 29% from April.
Sales were 33,463 cars in May, including exports, according to Reuters. Total NEV sales in China surged 177% to 185,000 cars in May.
Tesla stock was up about 3% in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning on the news.
We can't help but noting the timing. Sales in China slipped in April after a protestor made a public scene at the Shanghai Auto Show about Tesla's brakes being faulty. This was also a point in time where Musk was embracing Bitcoin and the CCP had continually been railing against the use of cryptocurrencies in China.
Then, shortly after Musk's rebuke of Bitcoin, which occurred around May 11-12, media in China appeared to do an "about face" on the company, writing favorably about its Shanghai expansion for the first time in weeks. Global Times published a piece stating that "work at Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory is going smoothly," just days after it was reported that Tesla was halting its expansion in China, seen as key to its plans to export from its Asia headquarters.
And now, we find out that sales in the country appeared to be back to "business as usual".
Recall, it was just about 3 weeks ago we noted that just 11,949 Tesla vehicles were registered in China in April, down sharply from 34,714 registrations in March. We also noted that data from China’s Passenger Car Association showed that the company sold 25,845 Chinese-made vehicles in April, down from 35,478 in March.
But that trend appears to have reversed. And before we ask the question of whether or not the honeymoon is back on between the CCP and Elon Musk, we have to ask: if it is, what sacrifices has Tesla made to "right the ship" overseas?
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