It seems like Elon Musk isn’t as comfortable running his mouth in China as he is in the United States. Whether it is due to China’s close ties between the state and the country’s economy or Tesla’s reliance on Beijing for its entire business model not to fall apart remains to be seen.
Either way, Musk isn’t reacting to Shanghai’s plant shutdown, occurring for several days due to Covid, with the same disdain he had for U.S. authorities back in 2020, the NY Post pointed out this week.
Shanghai is shut down for 4 days to comply with a citywide stay-at-home order. Because Tesla is considered “a non-essential business” and is required to shut down while authorities conduct mass Covid testing in the city, which sports 26 million people.
As the Post notes, the lockdown is actually stricter than any one that had been introduced in the U.S. In Shanghai, residents are barred from leaving their homes completely and public transportation has been shut down.
Recall, in 2020, Musk slammed stay-at-home orders in the U.S., labeling them “fascist”. Musk called shelter-in-place orders “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights,” CNBC reported at the time.
“This is the time to think about the future, and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights as what is happening right now?” Musk asked at the time.
He continued: “I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry. It’s like somebody should be, if somebody wants to stay in the house that’s great, they should be allowed to stay in the house and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”
In the same earnings call in 2020, Musk said: “What the f—. Excuse me. It’s outrage, it’s an outrage. It will cause great harm not just to Tesla, but to many companies. And while Tesla will weather the storm there are many small companies that will not.”
Over the last few years, we have taken note of Elon Musk’s China ass-kissing tour. In late 2021, Musk praised Chinese automakers – also known as Tesla’s competition – as “the most competitive in the world”. Musk also said China had “great potential” as a nation for electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg.
Recall, we were first, with the help of well-known short seller Montana Skeptic to ask in April of 2020 whether or not Musk risked becoming a Chinese asset, due to how much of a necessity China was becoming to Tesla’s business operations.
Things were mostly quiet until the beginning of 2021, when in January, Musk called the Chinese government “more responsible” to its citizens than the U.S. government. In March 2021, we noted how Musk continued to kiss the ass of the CCP, singing the praises of the country and its government.