Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), held a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the matter. The details of the discussions were not disclosed by the source. This meeting, which was not reported earlier, took place after Musk’s meetings with China’s commerce and industry ministers earlier in the day, as well as the foreign minister on Tuesday.
Despite requests for comment from Reuters, both Tesla and the State Council Information Office, responsible for media queries on behalf of the Chinese government, did not respond immediately.
Ding Xuexiang, the sixth highest-ranked leader in the Politburo Standing Committee, holds a prominent position within China’s top governing body led by President Xi Jinping. Previously serving as Xi’s chief of staff, Ding was promoted to his current position last year. His role involves assisting Premier Li Qiang in managing the world’s second-largest economy.
This notable meeting signifies the first known one-on-one encounter between Ding and a foreign CEO. The discussion between Ding and Musk underscores the significance that China places on its relationship with Tesla. China stands as the automaker’s second-largest market and is home to its largest production hub.
It remains unclear whether Musk also had a meeting with Li Qiang during his visit. In March, Reuters reported that Tesla had previously expressed interest in arranging a meeting between Musk and Li.
Concluding his two-day trip to China, Musk departed from Shanghai on Thursday morning. Throughout his visit, he not only met with a crucial battery supplier but also paid a visit to Tesla’s Shanghai factory.