- Elon Musk’s surprise trip to China ended with burgers and soft drinks for Tesla staff in Shanghai.
- The billionaire bought fast food for around 100 workers at Tesla’s gigafactory in the city.
- His trip was showcased on Twitter by Chinese state media.
Elon Musk completed his whistle-stop tour of China by treating workers at Tesla’s Shanghai plant to burgers and soft drinks, with his visit being showcased on Twitter by China’s state-affiliated media.
The billionaire’s first trip to China in three years culminated at his EV factory in Shanghai, where he bought fast food for around 100 workers, according to Bloomberg, which reported that he then left in his private jet from the city’s Hongqiao airport on Thursday.
A video published online by Tesla’s China team, seen by Insider, showed Musk delivering a speech to a crowd of workers at his Shanghai plant. He also thanked them for being there with him late at night.
“I would like to just very much congratulate you on the amazing work that you’ve done,” he told the crowd. “I just wanna let you know it warms my heart.”
The video was also posted on Twitter by Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper The People’s Daily. Twitter had previously labeled the account as being Chinese state-affiliated media, but dropped the tag in April.
Tesla’s VP in China Grace Tao posted a picture to Chinese social-media site Weibo that showed Musk waving to the camera with workers in Shanghai.
Musk has received a hero’s welcome in China after landing in Beijing earlier this week, with the public lauding the Tesla and Twitter CEO on social media as a “global idol” who was of the same ilk as Chinese business magnate Jack Ma.
His trip has included several meetings with top government officials, as well as a banquet with Zeng Yuqun, the executive at the helm of Chinese battery giant CATL.
China has become an increasingly important part of Musk’s Tesla ambitions, with the company’s Shanghai gigafactory producing around half of Tesla’s electric vehicles since 2021.
However, Musk, who has previously claimed to be a “free-speech absolutist,” has drawn criticism over his deepening ties with China, given the country’s stance on free speech. Twitter, which Musk bought for $44 billion last year, is banned in the country.
Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.