Patterico's Pontifications


Tesla Showroom Opens In Region Where Ongoing Genocide of Religious Minorities Is Taking Place

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Tesla Inc. has opened a new showroom in Xinjiang, the remote region where Chinese authorities are carrying out a campaign of forcible assimilation against religious minorities that has become a public-relations quagmire for Western brands.

The Austin, Texas-based electric car maker started operations at the new showroom in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, the company said in a Dec. 31 post on its official account on China’s popular Twitter-like social-media platform Weibo.

“On the last day of 2021, we meet in Xinjiang. In 2022, let us together launch Xinjiang on its electric journey!” Tesla wrote in the post, which was accompanied by pictures from an opening ceremony that included traditional Chinese lion dances and people posing with placards reading “Tesla (heart) Xinjiang.

Telsa’s opening in Xinjiang comes on the heels of President Biden signing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which is part of an effort to push back against Beijing’s ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs. Here are just a few of Congress’s findings that compelled the U.S. to put into law the prohibition “on the import of all goods, wares, articles, or merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, by forced labor from the People’s Republic of China and particularly any such goods, wares, articles, or merchandise produced in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China…”:

(1) In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has, since 2017, arbitrarily detained as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in a system of extrajudicial mass internment camps, in addition to arbitrarily detaining many in formal prisons and detention centers, and has subjected detainees to forced labor, torture, political indoctrination, and other severe human rights abuses.

(2) Forced labor exists within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s system of mass internment camps, and throughout the region, and is confirmed by the testimony of former camp detainees, satellite imagery, official media reports, publicly available documents, official statements, and official leaked documents from the Government of the People’s Republic of China as part of a targeted campaign of repression of Muslim ethnic minorities.

(3) In addition to reports from researchers and civil society groups documenting evidence that many factories and other suppliers in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are exploiting forced labor, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security on July 22, 2020, added eleven entities to the entity list after determining the entities had been “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region”.

(4) Audits and efforts to vet products and supply chains in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are unreliable due to the extent forced labor has been integrated into the regional economy, the mixing of involuntary labor with voluntary labor, the inability of witnesses to speak freely about working conditions given government surveillance and coercion, and the incentive of government officials to conceal government-sponsored forced labor.

(5) The Department of State’s June 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report found that “Authorities offer subsidies incentivizing Chinese companies to open factories in close proximity to the internment camps, and to receive transferred detainees at satellite manufacturing sites in other provinces. Local governments receive additional funds for each inmate forced to work in these sites at a fraction of minimum wage or without any compensation.”.

Ironically, Elon Musk was just named by TIME as its person of the year. This is from their write-up:

Many people are described as larger than life, but few deserve it. How many of us truly exceed our life span? How many will make it into the digital textbooks our spacefaring descendants will study? As Shakespeare observed in Julius Caesar, it’s far easier to be remembered for doing evil than doing good. How many will leave a mark on the world—much less the universe—for their contributions rather than their crimes? A few short years ago, Musk was roundly mocked as a crazy con artist on the verge of going broke. Now this shy South African with Asperger’s syndrome, who escaped a brutal childhood and overcame personal tragedy, bends governments and industry to the force of his ambition.

And there is a brief mention of Musk’s business relationship with China:

In 2018, the Chinese government repealed a law against foreign ownership to allow Musk to build a factory in Shanghai. Now Tesla appears to make about half of its cars in China, but it risks losing its hold on the world’s largest car market as the one-party state turns to favor homegrown rivals like NIO and BYD. Musk has faced criticism for pandering to America’s increasingly assertive authoritarian rival. “Overall, Tesla has a good relationship with China,” Musk told a business conference on Dec. 6. “I don’t mean to endorse everything China does.”

Just endorsing what will financially benefit him, I guess. So maybe that pandering to China has paid off. Barron’s notes:

China… represents roughly a quarter of Tesla’s sales. So far, Tesla’s announcement on New Year’s Eve hasn’t created much angst: Shares are up 10.7% to $1,169.82 Monday late morning.

The stakes are great though: In a recent research note, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives described China as a “linchpin to the overall bull thesis” on the stock, estimating China will represent 40% of deliveries for the electric-vehicle maker this year and said the country was worth roughly $400 a share to Tesla in 2022. Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The question now is can he, or any business and its investors, be politically neutral in China these days? Despite him um, bravely saying that he doesn’t agree with everything China does, what do his actions say by opening a showroom in Xinjiang?

“Opening a Xinjiang plant is a flagrant middle finger to anyone who cares about the plight of Uyghurs,” says Perth Tolle, founder of Life + Liberty indexes and the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets exchange-traded fund (FRDM) that excludes China. “There is no political neutrality when it comes to doing business in China anymore. Because Chinese companies have to put the interests of the state before the interests of all other stakeholders, they expect multinationals to do the same. And that’s often counter to the interests of shareholders, not to mention the majority of Chinese and Uyghur people.”

P.S. On a side note, more than 500,000 Teslas were recalled as recently as last week


34 Responses to “Tesla Showroom Opens In Region Where Ongoing Genocide of Religious Minorities Is Taking Place”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. I like the Tesla model S. It’s fun to drive, even if they quality is poor. I dislike Elon Musk immensely.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  3. And just how is China generating the electricity to charge those Teslas? High five if you said coal.

    However, China is heavily reliant on coal power.

    The country is currently running 1,058 coal plants – more than half the world’s capacity.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  4. At some point, some of these executives are going to have to convince everyone they “they didn’t know.”

    There’s a scene in the wonderful alt-history “For All Mankind” series (S1E02) where Wernher von Braun, having crossed Nixon, is utterly destroyed in a Congressional hearing with an exposition of his Nazi past in great and documented detail, as he tries to claim that “he didn’t know.”

    I don’t know about Musk, and he may be out of reach on Mars anyway, but Tim Cook is gonna have some ‘splainin’ to do.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. Musk is a high-functioning Asperger’s individual, as he has publicly said. Such people are generally strange in interactions as they have a hard time reading other people’s body language or comfort level. They often miss the stfu signals, for example.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. I think that China appreciates the limited range of electric cars. With gasoline vehicles and easy fill-ups, you can travel 1500 miles in a day, and be anywhere in the country that has roads in two. Hard on the control freaks.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. Consumer Reports, which had been all in on Teslas, now views the cars as unreliable. CU has this problem at times with products that incorporate “advances” they have advocated (e.g. air bags) and often ignores serious faults in their implementation.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. at least they didn’t open the showroom in georgia

    and is the “big guy” in on this?

    sure we can condemn musk, and hunter and the “big guy”

    though it looks like this is one of those cases where we can do both but end up only doing one

    JF (e1156d)

  9. Tim Cook is gonna have some ‘splainin’ to do.

    The stock market doesn’t care.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. Tesla showrooms in Georgia . Been there, done that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. I would love to have a resource that shows which products and companies are least China-dependent.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  12. Paul, you probably want to look at profits or revenue in China more so then how much content on a given widget comes from China

    Time123 (d499a8)

  13. Imagine if Hitler had taken over the world economically at first. There wouldn’t be a Jew left today.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  14. An aware, not necessarily a woke, person might say that the Chinese government is little more than the plantation overseers of Wall Street.

    And Teslas are junk. A 1910 concept that died out in 1930, resurrected with shoddier materials, glitz, and the help of climate change hysteria as far as the West goes, but, in China, a substantial step up from the bicycle and rickshaw.

    nk (1d9030)

  15. And I’m still waiting for Musk’s Space Scam to do more than Yuri Gagarin did in 1961. Besides “more shiny” that is.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. @14 nk, I’m a car guy, but I haven’t fallen in love with electric cars just yet. I don’t think they’re a panacea for environmental concerns, either. In fact, they have pollution issues themselves, not from gasoline but from mining the materials for the batteries and then disposing of the batteries, along with increased air pollution from microscopic rubber particles shed by the tires due to the heavier weight of the vehicles.

    I’m loving my fire-breathing, 460 HP, V8 Mustang.

    Yes, many electric cars are faster, but it’s just not the same experience. Japanese motorcycles are faster and more efficient than Harleys, they just can’t compete when it comes to style, sound, and feel.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  17. Everybody is talking about “supply chains” like they know what they’re talking about. Well, the energy, both used and wasted, needed to move a car has a supply chain too. Somebody should do a diagram of the supply chain of energy to the wheels of an electric vehicle and compare it to that of an internal combustion vehicle.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. Ed Begley, Jr. is riding one of those electricity-generating exercycles 24/7 in an attempt to compensate for the inefficiencies, nk.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  19. ‘A 1910 concept that died out in 1930…’

    Believe it or not, at the turn of the 20th century, battery-powered electric delivery vehicles were the most prevalent form of transport in the streets of New York City– chiefly as way to cut down on tons of horse manure filling the streets. [Of late it piles up in Gracie Mansion 😉 .] But the batteries were bulky, heavy and the internal combustion engine w/cheap fuel became more pragmatic and battery powered vehicles fell out of use.


    ‘And I’m still waiting for Musk’s Space Scam to do more than Yuri Gagarin did in 1961. Besides “more shiny” that is.’

    This is essentially true. Dragons aren’t even crewed- they’re loaded w/passengers, merely along for the automated ride- just as Gagarin was in 1961- although Yuri parachuted out of his Vostok to land.

    Musk did launch his Tesla roadster into space:

    But then, NASA left three Boeing-built battery-powered electric cars on the moon 50 years ago which were of much more practical use.

    Musk’s recovery/reuse LV system is impressive; albeit a technology perfected w/taxpayer subsidies and a trial and error period routine w/NASA circa 1959/60, but wholly unacceptable w/a budget conscious government agency today.

    But without government subsidies from the likes of NASA and the DoD, Space X would be dead– there’s is simply a low to no adequate ROI yet in a quarterly driven marketplace for, LEO space operations.
    That’s why governments do it- or subsidize those who do. But SpaceX is slowly morphing into an essential service the government must depend on. Just like a DoD contractor; “privatization”… Reaganomics!

    And radiation issues aside, the only Mars Musk will ever reach alive is by driving a Tesla to— Mars, Pennsylvania.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. And just like that, DCSCA’s New Year’s resolution to avoid the word “Reaganomics” crashes and burns.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  21. A collection of evidence or conclusions by a self-appointed tribunal (so really a prosecution case except it leaned over backward and tries to limit its charges) about what’s going on in Sinkiang:

    With these cautions in mind, evidence heard at the Tribunal’s Hearings in June
    and September was largely accepted by the Tribunal and shows that in Xinjiang
    and at the hands of some part or parts of the PRC government and the CCP:

    a. Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs – with some estimates well in excess of a million – have been detained by PRC authorities without any, or any remotely sufficient reason, and subjected to acts of unconscionable cruelty, depravity and inhumanity. Sometimes up to 50 have been detained in a cell
    of 22 square metres so that it was not possible for all to lie on concrete (or similar) floors, with buckets for toilets to be used in view of all in the cell, observed at every moment by CCTV.

    b. Many of those detained have been tortured for no reason, by such methods as: pulling off fingernails; beating with sticks; detaining in ‘tiger chairs’ where feet and hands were locked in position for hours or days without break; confined in containers up to the neck in cold water; and detained in cages so small that standing or lying was impossible.

    c. Many of those detained have been shackled by heavy metal weights at their feet and sometimes with feet and hands connected, immobilised for months on end.

    d. Detained women – and men – have been raped and subjected to extreme sexual violence. One young woman of twenty or twenty-one was gang raped by policemen in front of an audience of a hundred people all forced to watch.

    e. Women detainees have had their vaginas and rectums penetrated by electric shock rods and iron bars. Women were raped by men paying to be allowed into the detention centre for the purpose.

    f. Detainees were fed with food barely sufficient to sustain life and frequently insufficient to sustain health, food that could be withheld at whim to punish or humiliate.

    g. Detainees were subjected to solitary confinement in cells permanently dark or permanently lit, deprived of sleep for days at a time and ritually humiliated.

    20. All evidence in both written and oral form is available on the Tribunal’s website….

    There is probably evidence there giving indications to whom this happens and to whom it does not, or when.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  22. 22. There is also evidence of people dying as a result of their treatment in detention
    centres and some evidence of detainees, often comparatively young detainees,being removed from cells by force never to be seen or heard of again.

    23. BUT there is no evidence of organised mass killings. Indeed, it is clear that detainees, are allowed back into society, sometimes after as short a period of detention as 3-6 months – often to be detained again – sometimes after long periods in detention and sometimes after sustained torture.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  23. The capitalists will sell us the rope we hang them with! Lenin. Probably at a discount price too!

    asset (a89f2f)

  24. And I’m still waiting for Musk’s Space Scam to do more than Yuri Gagarin did in 1961. Besides “more shiny” that is.

    How is it a scam if he can routinely send astronauts to orbit? NASA couldn’t and still can’t and it’s not for lack of billions.

    We have a number of trillion dollar companies. I expect Musk will be the first trillionaire, even discounting Biden’s inflationary help.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. @22: And your point is what? “Not as bad as the Nazis. More like the Gulags”?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. @20. Made no such resolution, norcal.

    In fact, made no resolutions whatsoever.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. How is it a scam if he can routinely send astronauts to orbit? NASA couldn’t and still can’t and it’s not for lack of billions.

    The “scam” has been Musk’s self-promotion, peddling the image of being this grand deep-pocketed visionary when in fact it is the massive government subsidies he got and the follow-on contracting from government agencies- and keeps getting- that keeps him flying. He risks as little of his own capital as possible. It’s not like a ‘Destination Moon‘ scenario where a renegade businessman gets a group of private sector entrepreneurs together to risk fortunes and finance a moonshot. Without the government- pre-existing facilities- and our tax dollars- SpaceX would dry up. They need NASA and the DoD contracts.

    You can thank Congress and the White House for- as Cernan liked to label it- ‘The Gap’ in the next generation of U.S. manned spacecraft development. Dragons were re-designed to meet NASA safety specification so they do have a hand in how SpaceX ferries crews and supplies to the NASA O&O ISS but HSF will never be ‘routine’ w/t unforgivable tolerances for error and the speeds involved. Machines break. And one day SpaceX will have a ‘bad day.’ It’s just inevitable. Musk knows it– and he has NASA set up to take the public heat for it now.

    But NASA ‘not flying’ to orbit “now” is misleading. They are in fact, ‘flying’ folks in orbit aboard the ISS under their control and been doing so for a very, very long time. Appearances can be deceiving. ‘The Gap’ to LEO access now rests with decisions made by several recent administrations and conflicting policies which kept shifting goals once shuttle was retired a decade ago. Buying rides on Soyuz and so on- a vehicle, originally designed for lunar flights, which remains the most reliable spacecraft humans have ridden [- like the old VW ads says- ‘it’s ugly, but it gets you there.’]

    Keep in mind, w/a singular goal, a hefty budget and administration support, it still took seven years to get Apollo from the drawing board to space w/a clear goal and defined schedule pressures, too. Yet during that period, Mercury tailed off and Geminis were flying every two months or so [as well as the X-15] so there was a fair amount of activity to follow as all the facets of Apollo were in development. Today, w/flatter budgets and a lower national priority, NASA was directed to focus on BEO ops and leave LEO ops to commercial development– a scenario predicted over 50 years ago by Arthur C. Clarke.

    The snafu for 20 years has been the Rs & Ds administrative policy shifts in, well, ‘R&D’ between ‘Mars direct’ planning and the now wiser ‘Moon first then on to Mars’ approach [which Armstrong, Lovell and Cernan advocated]- that is, use cislunar space and long-stay lunar habitats as a proving ground for hardware, plans and procedures- a la Gemini was for Apollo- then press on out to Mars. That’s what NASA is doing. But U.S. politicians wasted 20 years of time.

    Everything is based on budgets– and w/NASA now directed to focus on BEO ops, get a heavy lift rocket built and flying and leave LEO ops to the fledging private sector, it’s really a renaissance for the new generation of aerospace engineers to work on LEO or BEO HSF projects- along w/t new Space Force [and likely some HSF in the black ops area as well.] The controversial move by recent administrations was to subsidize SpaceX and competitors for LEO ops by leasing and then modifying the NASA government facilities for their use w/tax dollars. The 21st century managers put the old, idle launch pads, once refurbished, to use again– made use of what they could [like the VAB] while the same time, disposing of a lot of history as well- such as chopping up the last of the Apollo era launch towers for scrap- and completely gutting the Firing Room at KSC for refitting and so on. The next 30 years should be extraordinary in human spaceflight, as Clarke predicted- with the Goddard’s added ‘thrill of just beginning’ for young engineers looking up and to the future.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  28. NorCal, You’re right about the importance of sound. Humans can’t really detect speed. We can perceive time gap in response, noise. And pressure. German automakers have done a great job taking advantage of this. When you step on the accelerator pedal in a Audi or a BMW (midsize or up) a few sneaky things happen

    -The tachometer jumps to the RPM the engine will need to be at based on the anticipated power demand.
    -The noise cancellation system that cancels out road noise with speakers in the vehicle adds in engine and excuse sounds. Not actual noise from the propulsion system but similar noises that sounds good.

    The first makes you think your transmission is precise and responsive and the second makes you think your engine is powerful.

    I’m not sure if your vehicle does that, but it likely does. You can check by looking for a lag between when the tach stops moving and the engine RPM’s you hear stop rising.

    It’s all pretty subtle stuff but it makes a difference.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  29. The capitalists will sell us the rope we hang them with! Lenin.

    “If Lenin is so f***ing smart, how come he’s so f***ing dead?” — Joseph Stalin

    Actually, Lenin never said that (and not Stalin, either). It was a made-up quote in an anti-Communist screed by some minor McCarthyite during the Red Scare.

    And there are no Lenins in China, or anywhere else for that matter. Mao was the last great man of history and there is no one else in sight. Just insipid politicians riding herd on sheep, keeping them fed and watered and away from the locoweed.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. NASA has never done anything on its own-it’s a contracting organization. Contractors build the rockets for the space program and have run the launches for the past 16 years. (United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin). Contractors have been present in launch and mission control since the space program began.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. NASA has never done anything on its own-it’s a contracting organization.

    Actually, it has- though organization and mission planning. [For instance, Mission Control wasn’t ordered out of a Sears catalogue.] Anything it contracted for was by design and intent to meet their requirements spelled out by the managers and engineers at the Space Task Group. For example, they’d budget to contract w/t US Navy for primary recovery ships and back-ups in emergency landing zones and payt the USN accordingly.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. Interesting car details, Time. All I know is I love the sound of my Mustang. However, I think my neighbors are glad it isn’t my daily driver. 😮

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  33. I didn’t think you made any such resolution, DCSCA. It was my lame attempt at humor.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  34. Luckily CNN has our back and is pointing to a real CEO we can all look up to and respect.

    Because of course. And also:

    Pfizer began its business operations in China in 1989 and is now one of the leading multinational biopharmaceutical companies in China, with a presence in more than 300 cities nationwide and a staff of more than 11,000. Pfizer has invested more than USD 1.5 billion in China, and established four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

    But that showroom, by the beard of Odin, makes Musk an evil person.

    frosty (f27e97)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0929 secs.