Tesla expands PR and legal teams in China after setbacks

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Tesla is looking to expand its public relations and legal teams in China after bad publicity and tighter regulatory oversight.

The electric vehicle company is seeking to fill external affairs positions, whose responsibilities include government relations, in several cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Nanjing, according to an article posted on its official WeChat website.

The company is also recruiting more public relations officers in Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Shenyang.

After initially enjoying a big reception in China, including being the only foreign automaker allowed to fully own its local business, Tesla has suffered a series of setbacks this year. A protest by a disgruntled owner at the Shanghai auto show in April went viral on social media and was followed by a series of accidents and a regulatory review of safety and customer service issues.

Data released last week showed that Tesla’s Chinese-made car shipments to the local market fell 69% in July from June to just 8,621 vehicles. China is Tesla’s second-largest market outside the United States and the key to its growth plans.

The growing presence of government and media relations in China contrasts with Tesla’s approach in the United States, where CEO Elon Musk’s prolific tweets are the primary channel of communication, with the local PR team largely disbanded. .

The California-based company is also strengthening its legal team in China, where it faces a stricter regulatory environment – promoting a data privacy lawyer, an antitrust lawyer, an attorney. in engineering and an after-sales lawyer.

Earlier this year, five regulators summoned representatives from Tesla over quality and safety issues. Its cars have also been banned from some military complexes over fears their cameras could collect sensitive information.

The government said last week that smart vehicle makers would be required to store locally generated data in the country, the latest step in a broader regulatory crackdown on companies.


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