Tesla Inc chief Elon Musk wrote a column for the official publication of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the powerful agency that oversees data security for companies from Alibaba to Tencent and works with other government agencies to censor internet content.
The billionaire laid out a familiar vision of using technology to secure humanity’s future for the July issue of CAC’s official magazine, joining local industry luminaries including the chairman of Ant Group Co. Eric Jingo, who shared his thoughts on responsible technology development that promotes inclusivity.
That echoes the broader goals of President Xi Jinping’s administration, which has worked for more than a year to curb the power of tech leaders such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. started when regulators halted Ant’s record-breaking IPO in 2020 and peaked around the time Didi Global Inc went public — an effort that CAC led.
“I want to do everything I can to make the most of technology to help achieve a better future for humanity,” Musk wrote. “To that end, any area that contributes to a sustainable future is worthy of our investment.”
China is the world’s largest electric car market and home to Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, a centerpiece of the electric car maker’s growth plans. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. is the largest supplier of batteries for electric vehicles. located in Fujian Province. But Chinese consumers have in the past attacked Tesla for allegedly unfair practices, while others have protested the extent of domestic data collection.
Musk, who has drawn criticism for his close ties to Beijing, joined Xi Jinping’s World Internet Conference last year to extol the virtues of international cooperation. A spokesperson for Tesla China confirmed that Musk had written the article, but declined to comment further.
Musk said in the column that the magazine, whose first issue came out this year, approached him about the article.
The entrepreneur touched on his businesses, including Space Exploration Technologies Corp, which he calls the first step toward populating a city on Mars. He also talked about Neuralink Corp’s brain-machine interface and Tesla Bot humanoid, announced last year, with the first prototype due this year. He addresses his audience as “Chinese friends”, focusing on the broader themes of electrification of transport.
“My greatest hope is that humans will create a self-sustaining city on Mars,” Musk said, a familiar refrain. “Tesla Bots are originally designed to replace humans in repetitive, boring and dangerous tasks. But they are expected to serve millions of families, such as cooking, mowing lawns and caring for the elderly.”
Read: South Africa’s consumer finances hit by rising tariffs and cost of living