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Tesla summoned to China regulator over technical, safety issues

Elon Musk
Elon Musk has built a career on defying sceptics with businesses in electric cars and rockets. Photo: Reuters.

(ATF) Chinese regulators have summoned representatives of US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla after reported technical and safety problems with their vehicles.

“Consumers have cited multiple problems, related to unusual accelerations, batteries catching fire, as well as with the remote update system,” the State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement.

The regulator said Tesla was summoned to a joint meeting with the General Administration of Market Supervision, Central Cyberspace Administration of China, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Transport and the Fire Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Emergency Management.

No further details were given about the reported malfunctions. In a statement, Tesla said it accepted the authorities’ “guidance”.


In other EV news, Chinese maker Byton is in talks to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Byton, shareholders of which include China’s state-owned automaker FAW Group and EV battery maker CATL, plans to go public as early as this year, the report said.

The company was launched in 2017 by Future Mobility Corp, a company co-founded by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives.

Last month Byton sealed a deal to start making electric sport-utility vehicles with Foxconn and the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone in 2022.


Separately, China’s Niu Technologies is in talks to supply electric scooters to Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Gojek, according to the manufacturer’s chief executive.

Niu makes scooters and motorcycles powered by lithium-ion batteries and 95% of its sales by unit are in China. The company has been sending scooters to Gojek for testing, Li Yan told Reuters.

Niu makes electric two-wheelers in Changzhou and plans to double manufacturing capacity to 2 million scooters from the second half of this year, Li said.

The company has rapidly expanded retail outlets, opening showrooms in Edinburgh, Porto, Bergamo and Jakarta in recent months. Li said Niu has no plan to make electric cars. “We focus on inner-city mobility,” he said.

With reporting by Reuters


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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