Can you imagine a town without a single Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report on the road. Given how prominent they’ve become since Elon Musk first founded the company in 2003, it may seem like something from the long-gone past.
But as first reported by Reuters, one district in northern China is making that a reality this summer.
The district of Beidaihe is banning all Tesla cars from entering its territory for the next two months. It is home to a beach resort in the norther Hebei province, which borders the Bohai Sea coast and is home to some 74 million people.
The reason for the ban is not so much about maintaining a tranquil, car-free coast but the fact that Beidaihe hosts an annual ultra-secretive summit of top Chinese leadership.
The event is always mired in secrecy — particular from foreign observers. The exact dates are never announced and, each year, some coverage of it emerges only after the summit has already taken place.
“Ostensibly an annual break for [China’s top leaders] to switch off and relax on the long beaches of the fabled northern resort town, it has also become an occasion when the country’s most powerful could spend time glad-handing, logrolling and tittle-tattling each other, making it the most watched unofficial event in the nation’s political calendar,” journalist William Zheng wrote for the South China Post in 2020.
A Beidaihe Traffic Police Brigade told Reuters that the Tesla ban was instituted due to a matter of “national affairs.”
He did not provide additional information on why Tesla was targeted as opposed to any other foreign car while Tesla, which disbanded its PR team, could not be reached for comment.
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