Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Offers Elon Musk Permanent Residency During Tesla's Groundbreaking In China
Elon Musk visited China for the groundbreaking of Tesla's first factory outside of the United States. As he expressed his love for the Asian country, the company's CEO had the privilege to have a Chinese green card after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang offered him permanent residency.
Musk and Li met at Zhongnanhai, Beijing's former imperial garden turned into the Communist Party and the government's headquarters. The 47-year-old tech genius broke ground the Tesla's Gigafactory 3 project in the country that set its first overseas production.
"I love China and want to come here more often," Musk said. "If you do, we can issue you a Chinese green card," Li responded. Tesla reportedly declined to comment about the offer.
According to the state-run newspaper China Daily, via France 24, there were 10,000 foreigners with Chinese permanent residency in 2016. It includes the likes of Dutch scientist Bernard Ferring, former NBA all-star Stephon Marbury, and Nobel-winning economist Robert Mundell.
It is not easy to obtain a Chinese green card, so Musk is one of the lucky few to get the offer. It is considered one of the most difficult permanent residency to have.
Meanwhile, Tesla's new plant in China is posing to produce 500,000 electric vehicles every year. The California-based company admitted it was a dramatic increase to its output.
Li congratulated Musk on the start of Tesla's construction. The SpaceX's lead designer managed to secure the multibillion-dollar facility on the land at an industrial zone in Lingang in just a matter of three months.
Once the construction gets completed, it will be the first factory in China that is fully-owned by a foreign company. According to the South China Morning Post, the move comes after Beijing eases its restrictions on "compulsory joint venture partnerships" in some sectors in 2018.
"We hope you can get a firm foothold and expand the market," Li said. He also added that Tesla could be a great contributor to China's opening up, and proof of China-US's good relations.
Musk, on the other hand, said he was impressed by China's development when it comes to speed and efficiency. He even admitted he didn't imagine that a car factory could be completed and opened in only three months.
He then promised to do his best to make Tesla in China one of the most advanced factories in the world. He also vowed to build products that would suit the Chinese market's needs. "I hope to build Tesla's Shanghai factory into a global example," he said.