Lover or hate him, Elon leads the way.
Tesla enjoys a reputation in the world's largest auto market that makes domestic China brands like NIO green with EnVy.
A greater feat, by Fox News standards, is the government support Tesla enjoys here, helping it hang on to its top status: tax subsidies, and a big boost to reopen its Shanghai plant during the height of the pandemic.
Tesla's trailblazing is now wide enough that stodgy old scaredy cats such as Toyota, Daimler, and even geriatric GM are forging China EV JV's.
"The play for non-auto-producing foreigners is in parts and the materials to make them," says Jimmie Jeremejev. "Not just batteries, but the spiking demand for lithium and other rare-earths that go into the magnet motors. Also, driverless EVs are much closer than people think, with the long tail of software and services that implies."