Elon has lots of money, and the Chinese have zero freedom
We now call Tesla a Texas company, or at least they have a big facility here. So I guess that entitles us to offer the management a few opinions. I saw this on The Dallas Morning News:
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla has opened a showroom in the capital of Xinjiang, with the company issuing a cheery announcement on China's state-controlled Weibo social media platform that "Tesla (heart) Xinjiang."
Hey, Elon Musk: We love that you brought that plant to Texas and that you attacked some of the demagoguery on the other side. However, opening a showroom in China may be a step too far for a Texas company.
Over in China, human rights violations are the order of the day.
They are everywhere, not just in Hong Kong, where a third independent newspaper just got shut down, but the locals still have access to social media and tell the world about it.
The worst is happening in the areas that no iPhone can travel to. This is a recent summary from Amnesty International:
The year was marked by harsh crackdowns on human rights defenders and people perceived to be dissidents, as well as the systematic repression of ethnic minorities.
The beginning of the year saw the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, which killed more than 4,600 people in China. People demanded freedom of expression and transparency after authorities reprimanded health professionals for warning about the virus.
At the UN, China was strongly criticized and urged to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang. Stringent restrictions on freedom of expression continued unabated.
Foreign journalists faced detention and expulsion, as well as systematic delays to and refusals of visa renewals.
Chinese and other tech firms operating outside China blocked what the government deemed politically sensitive content, extending its censorship standards internationally.
China enacted its first Civil Code, which received thousands of submissions by the public calling for legalization of same-sex marriage.
Hong Kong's National Security Law led to a clampdown on freedom of expression.
I want Mr. Musk to make a lot of money and sell a lot of electric cars. I don't own one, but maybe I will someday if the price drops or they can build more recharging stations. In other words, it's tough to drive from Dallas to Houston (approximately 300 miles) if my battery only goes 200 miles.
Nevertheless, I have nothing against electric cars, and Mr. Musk is indeed welcome in Texas.
Please, Mr. Musk, make a statement about China. You got plenty of money, but the people of China got zero freedom.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
Image: Department of Geography, U.C. Berkeley, via Picryl, Public Domain.