BEIJING: Tesla regularly kindles passionate commentary among web users in China.
In Weibo's ranking of the topics that trended most on the social network, the American company is in fifth place.
While this may be interpreted as good news for the company in terms of visibility, it has not necessarily always been for "good" reasons.
The American company is regularly called out in regards to its braking system, or more generally the safety of its users. In recent months, Tesla has appeared 130 times in the trending topics.
First place on the ranking is occupied by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the "gaokao," the entrance exam to higher education, extremely important for the youth of China.
Brake system failure
The failure of a Tesla car's braking system became a hot topic last April. At the 19th Shanghai International Auto Expo, a woman climbed into a Tesla car to protest the company following the crash of her Tesla.
According to her, the company had refused to share the vehicle's data with her or to reimburse her. She wore a T-shirt with the slogan "brake failure" which has become one of the top trending topics during this first half of the year.
Despite this bad buzz, Tesla continues to gain ground in China.
Its sales momentum has grown, with the carmaker's revenue increasing by 102.9% over the year and now accounting for 23.3% of Tesla's total revenue.
The Chinese market now surpasses the European Union in terms of market share. And this doesn't look set to change as the American company has made the Chinese market one of its main priorities.