Elon Musk is making plans to visit China as early as next month, according to reports, amid delays to plans to more than double production capacity at Tesla’s plant in Shanghai.
The electric vehicle maker’s chief executive is also seeking a meeting with China’s Premier Li Qiang as he aims to shore up support in his company’s second largest market.
It would be Mr Musk’s first visit to China since the pandemic.
He last visited China in early 2020, when he set the internet abuzz by dancing on stage during an event at the Shanghai factory.
It comes as Tesla grapples with competition from Chinese rival BYD, which is backed by Warren Buffett.
It stole Tesla’s crown last year after selling more electric cars, giving it a market share of 20pc of all battery-electric vehicles sold compared to Tesla’s 10pc.
It also comes after China threatened to block Mr Musk’s Starlink with a rival fleet of 13,000 satellites amid claims they pose a potential military threat and could spy on the Communist country.
A new academic paper published in the military-sponsored Journal of the Chinese Society of Command and Control suggested that lasers and microwaves should be used to shoot down Starlink satellites.