esla Shanghai Branch obtained a business license in Shanghai on May 10, confirming that the automobile giant plans to find development opportunities on the Chinese mainland.
Based on information shown on China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System (NECIP), Tesla registered with 100 million yuan (US$15.4m) in capital. It is among the first batch of foreign enterprises to be allowed to operate in sole ownership in China, as previously, no foreign enterprise was allowed to operate on the mainland until it established a joint venture with a mainland enterprise, with the latter’s stock share exceeding 50 percent. The rule was lifted for the automobile industry in April.
In 2017, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk revealed at a financial meeting that he planned to build a Gigafactory on the Chinese mainland. However, auto manufacturing is outside the scope of the Shanghai Branch, the registration at NECIP shows.
Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told the Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily that there is still a high chance that Tesla will build a manufacturing base in or around Shanghai. As Tesla suffered huge first quarter losses and is losing senior staff to its competitors, Cui believes that it would be better for Tesla to make a quick decision.