Tech billionaire Elon Musk has left China, ending his business trip to the communist nation with a speech to his employees in Shanghai.
The trip culminated in a visit to Tesla’s Gigafactory — one of the main sites where the company’s ubiquitous electric cars are manufactured.
Video of Musk speaking to hundreds of workers in the Shanghai factory was published online.
“I would very much like to congratulate you on the amazing work that you have done,” Musk said to the employees.
He added, “It’s been incredibly impressive how you have been able to overcome so many difficulties and so many challenges. I just want to let you know it warms my heart.”
Tesla opened the first wholly foreign-owned auto factory in China in 2019. The opening came after ownership restrictions were eased by the Chinese government to increase competition and speed up industry development.
Musk met with China’s foreign minister on Tuesday in Beijing and said he was open to expanding the automaker’s business there, according to the foreign ministry office.
A statement from the Chinese ministry cited the billionaire as saying he “opposes decoupling,” referring to fears that the world may split into multiple markets with incompatible products.
GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy expressed deep concerns about Musk meeting with China’s foreign minister this week, saying it is risky to the U.S. when the communist country uses prominent business leaders as puppets.
The Tesla CEO departed Shanghai on Thursday, concluding his three-day trek across China and returning to his home in Texas.
Musk is once again the world’s richest man, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index released Wednesday.
Musk is worth an estimated $192 billion, edging out LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s $187 million, according to the index. Musk’s reclaiming of the “world’s richest” title comes after Arnault surpassed him in December as his company’s stock soared.
Musk was first named the world’s richest man in September 2021, thanks in large part to his ownership of Tesla stock. Musk still owns 13% of the company’s shares, which grew by 65.6% over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Arnault’s LVMH grew by just 19.7%.
FOX Business’ Anders Hagstrom and Greg Wehner contributed to this report.