Jet used by Tesla CEO Elon Musk lands in China - Reuters

May 30, 2023 7:50 AM EDT -- A private jet used by Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk has touched down in China, according to an eyewitness cited by Reuters.

Musk is traveling to the country to meet with senior government officials, media reports say, although it was not clear who exactly the billionaire would be speaking with or what topics they would discuss. Previous reports have suggested that Musk may meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Shares in Tesla climbed by more than 3% in premarket U.S. trading on Tuesday.

"It is a big deal that he is now visiting [China] this week at a key time for Tesla," analysts at Wedbush said in a note to clients. "Tesla continues to aggressively focus on building out its China footprint as this remains the golden goose [electric vehicle] market."

In a statement, China's foreign ministry said it welcomed Musk, adding that it hopes to develop a relationship of "mutually beneficial cooperation" with him and other business leaders.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters said.

Musk's trip comes as Tesla attempts to address increasing competition from Chinese electric car makers and secure the expansion of its gigafactory in Shanghai. The company is targeting an uptick in output to 450,000 vehicles a year at the plant.

China is the second-largest market for Tesla behind the U.S., where the automaker has been offering lower prices in a bid to gain a greater domestic market share.

"While the macro is not rosy Tesla must continue to build out in China to further cement its EV footprint in this key market for the stalwart," the Wedbush analysts said.

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