Tesla's funding is secured in China as progress continues at a rapid clip in the region

The Tesla Model 3 scene in China is as newsworthy as it is in Europe right now. The country's rising middle class could create significant traction for Tesla according to a report in China's Global Times. It's reported that, "test drives are in hot demand at Tesla showrooms... customers have shown great enthusiasm for the Model 3, just like they did almost one decade ago when the iPhone 4 made its debut in China."

Above: Tesla Model 3 deliveries have accelerated in China (Photos: JayinShanghai)

Tesla is currently offering three variants of the Model 3 in China (Dual Motor Long Range, RWD Long Range, and the Dual Motor Performance) which all remain more expensive than the mid-range Model 3 available in North America. That said, more than 10,000 cars are reported to be reserved according to native sources.

Above: Tesla's innovative home delivery model in China (Above: Vincent Yu)

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports, "The electric-car maker said in a securities filing Thursday that a syndicate of lenders agreed to provide up to 3.5 billion yuan ($521 million) for construction and production expenses at its so-called Gigafactory Shanghai. Tesla’s lenders in the agreement are China Construction Bank Corp. , Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. , Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. , and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co."

Above: Tesla's progress at the Gigafactory 3 in China (Youtube: 烏瓦)

And Reuters reports, "Tesla’s upcoming vehicle assembly facility in Shanghai is expected to be completed in May this year [according to] a Shanghai city government official... adding that part of the facility’s production line would be put into operation by the end of the year." 

Above: Tesla Model 3 deliveries in China (Youtube: CHINA LIVE)

To kick things off in the market, the first Tesla Model 3 vehicles were recently handed over to select Chinese customers in Shanghai in a recent splashy event. Robin Ren, VP of Global Tesla Sales who reportedly has millions of followers on Chinese social media, along with other Tesla influencers and enthusiasts got their Model 3s delivered.

Above: Initial Tesla Model 3 deliveries to Chinese owners and a slew of Model 3s reach the Goldenport race circuit Beijing (Photos: JayinShanghai)

At the Shanghai Port, according to sources (JayinShanghai/Vincent Yu), the total number of Tesla Model 3 in the vehicle transport vessel (see below) was ~1600 units — Tesla Model S and Model X were also part of this initial shipment to China.

Above: Tesla's shipment arrives at the Port of Shanghai (Youtube: Vincent Yu)

That said, there have been some recent hiccups with customs that appear to be resolved now. In addition, there's been understandable blowback from recent customers in China due to Tesla's recent price cuts in the region. 

Nevertheless, with Tesla's price cuts, demand in China in 2020 is likely to accelerate. Observer Kevin Yang remarked (via Twitter) that news of local price cuts have been trending on Weibo and he remarks, "... ~100 million Chinese know about Tesla cuts [to the] price and foreseeably some will be ordering." And looking ahead, the base price Model 3, built at its Shanghai Gigafactory, is now slated for the region and the company's Model Y standard variant will also be built in China according to Elon Musk.


Written by: Iqtidar Ali; An earlier version of this article appeared on X Auto.