Wednesday March 20, 2019

Tesla’s First Factory Outside of U.S. Breaks Ground In China

By having a factory in China, Tesla will not have to worry about consumers there facing higher prices on cars imported from the United States.

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A sales staff chats with a customer at a Tesla store near a poster announcing orders of the Model 3 electric cars in Beijing, China, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

Tesla broke ground Monday on a new factory for its electric cars in China, the first of its factories to be located outside the United States.

Chief Executive Elon Musk appeared at a ceremony alongside local officials on the outskirts of Shanghai to mark the start of the project. He said the goal is to finish initial construction by summer and start production by the end of the year.

Tesla, board
Tesla also said it is setting up a committee on the board to oversee compliance with the SEC agreement. Pixabay

Tesla will build its Model 3 vehicles at the site and says it hopes to eventually have a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles per year. The factory is wholly owned by Tesla, a departure from usual Chinese policy for foreign businesses.

The new factory comes as the United States and China negotiate trade issues that have led each side to impose higher tariffs on the other’s goods, including the automotive sector.

Also Read: After India, Elon Musk Criticizes Singapore

By having a factory in China, Tesla will not have to worry about consumers there facing higher prices on cars imported from the United States. (VOA)

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Google Claims It Has “No Plans” To Relaunch A Search Engine in China

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

The United States’ top general said on Thursday that the Chinese military was benefiting from the work Alphabet Inc’s Google was doing in China, where the technology giant has long sought to have a bigger presence.

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said.

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Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market. Pixabay

“Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Last year Google said it was no longer vying for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department, in part because the company’s new ethical guidelines do not align with the project.

In June, Google said it would not renew a contract to help the U.S. military analyze aerial drone imagery when it expires, as the company sought to defuse an internal uproar over the deal.

At the same time, Google said it has “no plans” to relaunch a search engine in China, though it is continuing to study the idea.

During the hearing, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sharply criticized the tech company, referring to it as “a supposedly American company.”

FILE - Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019. VOA

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market.

Also Read: India and Pakistan Threaten to Release Missiles at Each Othe

Asked about Dunford’s comments, Google referred to previous statements.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has previously said the company has invested in China for years and plans to continue to do so, but that the company also was continuing to work with the U.S. government on projects in health care, cybersecurity and other fields. (VOA)