Tesla Narrowing in on Shanghai Factory

"We don't have anything new to add on this registration for now", a Tesla spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday.

Just a few weeks after China announced foreign companies will no longer need to partner with local Chinese companies in order to manufacture cars in the country, Tesla created Tesla Shanghai Co.

Bloomberg reports that a new business licence has been approved for a company registered by Tesla's set-up in Hong Kong. Amid pressure from the Trump Administration and lobbying from Tesla, CEO Elon Musk recently praised China for a "willingness to open their markets" and said he believed "they will do the right thing".

Tesla could be on the verge of announcing a Gigafactory in China after registering a new company in Shanghai's Free-Trade Zone.

Apparently contradicting the speculation in U.S. media reports, however, Chinese news outlet Sina claims Tesla's Shanghai entity is focused on import/export and technology development instead of auto manufacturing.

The Palo Alto, California-based company has been working with Shanghai's government since previous year to explore assembling cars in China. However, earlier this month he said the firm could soon unveil the location of a Chinese gigafactory.

Tesla refused to build a factory in China unless the regulations were eased to allow full control of factories by foreign owners. What's more, China continues to become an increasingly important market for electric auto manufacturers and in the past year, EV sales have increased by 149 per cent.

Beijing has set an ambitious target, whereby new-energy vehicles will account for a fifth of total sales by 2025.

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