Tesla’s China chief Tom Zhu stepped down as legal representative ofTesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., but will remain its chairman, according to updated information on Chinese business inquiry platforms. Wang Hao, the general manager of Tesla China in charge of sales, has taken over as the legal representative. An analysis report by Chinese media outlet PingWest shows that this is another signal that Zhu is fading out of Tesla’s business in China.
Prior to this, Tesla China saw quite a few changes in its subsidiaries’ legal representations. In November, public information showed that a used car company affiliated to Tesla named Roadster Automobile Sales and Service (Beijing) Co., Ltd., made changes to its industrial and commercial registration information, and Tom Zhu withdrew from the legal representative role and was replaced by Wang Hao. Zhu is still the chairman of the company. However, Tesla Motors (Beijing) Co., Ltd., another subsidiary, with Zhu as its legal representative, has not undergone any changes so far.
At the beginning of this month, Tom Zhu was reported by PingWest to succeed Elon Musk as Tesla’s global CEO. Tesla China’s response towards this news has been rather vague. At first, the firm responded to the media that if there are any updates, it will announce them as soon as possible. However, some Tesla China insiders later responded with a question to Chinese media: “Do you think it is true?” This seems to indirectly deny the authenticity of the report.
According to public information, Tom Zhu was born in Shenyang in China’s Liaoning Province. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Technology from Auckland University of Technology in 2004 and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business in 2010. Zhu joined Tesla in April 2014 as the director of Tesla China’s super charging station project. Soon after, he was promoted to Tesla global vice president and president of China. Many of Tesla’s successes in China are considered inseparable from Zhu.
At present, Zhu and many employees from the Shanghai Gigafactory are still fully operating the Tesla Texas factory in the United States. He was also seed in photos released by Tesla earlier this month when the company celebrated the Texas factory’s new milestone of producing 3,000 Model Y vehicles per week.