The change is another sign that Zhu is fading from Tesla's China operations, local media report says.
(File photo shows Tom Zhu being interviewed by Xinhua News Agency. Image from video screenshot.)
Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) operating entity in China has seen a change in the legal representative, signaling a potential change in the role of the company's China boss.
Tom Zhu, Tesla's global vice president and CEO of the Greater China region, is no longer the legal representative of Tesla Shanghai Co Ltd, with the position being filled by Wang Hao, information from data provider Qichacha shows.
The change was effective December 22. Zhu remains chairman of the company. Wang is the general manager of Tesla China.
Tesla Shanghai was founded in 2018 with a registered capital of RMB 4.67 billion and is wholly owned by Tesla Motors HK Limited, according to Qichacha.
The change is another sign of Zhu's fade from Tesla's China operations, local media outlet Ping West said in a report today.
Tesla's sales in China have climbed rapidly since the Shanghai plant became operational, and it has expanded production twice.
However, in the second half of this year, Tesla ran two consecutive promotions and its order intake in China began to decline, the report noted.
At the moment, Zhu has no time for that, and the task of boosting business in China has fallen to Wang, the Ping West report said.
Wang joined Tesla in April 2014 at the beginning of Tesla's entry into China as head of the China destination charging program. He became deputy general manager of Tesla China in January 2018 and started as general manager of Tesla China in August 2019.
On December 8, Ping West, citing unnamed sources, said Tesla CEO Elon Musk has settled on Zhu to replace him as CEO of the electric car company.
Zhu's CEO role will be global, but the scope of responsibilities will likely be limited to Tesla's automotive business and not include self-driving and robotics programs, the report said, citing a different source.
Also on December 8, Bloomberg reported that Musk had appointed Zhu to help run the electric vehicle maker's newest factory in Austin, Texas.