Elon Musk's Jet Leaves Shanghai as Tycoon Wraps up China Visit

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
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Elon Musk's Jet Leaves Shanghai as Tycoon Wraps up China Visit

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

A jet belonging to Tesla CEO Elon Musk departed Shanghai on Thursday, Chinese flight-tracking data showed, as the tycoon wraps up a visit to China that has seen him express hopes to expand business in the world's largest market for electric vehicles.

Musk's private jet took off from Shanghai's Hongqiao airport just after 11 am (0300 GMT), data from Umetrip, which is backed by China's major state-owned airlines, showed.

It was bound for Austin, Texas, where Tesla is headquartered, said AFP.

The mercurial tycoon, one of the world's richest men, is wrapping his first trip to China in more than three years.

On Wednesday night he visited Tesla's factory on the outskirts of Shanghai and met employees, a post on China's Weibo social media by the car company's global vice president Grace Tao showed.

Earlier in the day he met Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in Beijing, praising China's "vitality and promise" and expressing "full confidence in the China market", according to a readout.

Musk and Tesla have not released any statement on the trip, or responded to AFP requests for comment.

The billionaire has extensive business interests in the country and told Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday that his firm was "willing to continue to expand its business in China", according to the foreign ministry.

Musk's work in China has raised eyebrows in Washington, with President Joe Biden saying in November the Twitter owner's links to foreign countries were "worthy" of scrutiny.

The tycoon has also caused controversy by suggesting the self-ruled island of Taiwan should become part of China -- a stance welcomed by Chinese officials but which deeply angered Taipei.

Musk is one of a number of Western executives to visit China since the country ended strict Covid controls that saw it largely closed off from the world for almost three years.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said this week that Beijing welcomed visits by international executives "to better understand China and promote mutually beneficial cooperation".

In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing, saying his company enjoyed a "symbiotic" relationship with China.



Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
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Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa

Italy's antitrust agency said on Thursday it had launched an investigation into online search giant Google and its parent company Alphabet over alleged unfair commercial practices involving users' personal data.
The request for consent that Google sends to its users to connect its multiple services "could constitute misleading and aggressive commercial practice", the watchdog said.
This "incomplete and misleading," information supplied to users fails to clarify the impact their consent may have on the use their personal data, the antitrust authority, which is in charge of overseeing consumer rights, added.
Google offers a wide range of online tools, including video platform YouTube, email service Gmail, and Maps.
The antitrust body said Google presented its request for users' consent in a way that could limit their freedom of choice, by inducing them to agree to a combined usage of personal data by different Google services.
"We will analyze the details of this case and will work cooperatively with the authority," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Under Italian legislation companies found in breach of consumer rights rules face fines ranging from 5,000 euros to 10 million euros.