propaganda blogs stating that production at the company's new Gigafactory in Shanghai could start "within a year", a new Tweet and video posted by China's Global Times seems to indicate that despite breaking ground in October, the project doesn't appear to be actively moving forward.
On the morning of December 26, China's Global Times posted on Twitter that there were "no signs of ongoing construction work", accompanied by a video of what appears to be leveled out ground showing no workers and no signs of work being done.
.@Tesla's new Gigafactory in Lingang, Shanghai, shows no signs of ongoing construction work. The company signed a land leasing contract with local Shanghai authorities to build the factory on October 17. (Video: Xie Jun/GT) pic.twitter.com/JzB0mD5liR— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) December 26, 2018
The lack of any construction is despite the Shanghai government issuing an official statement in early December that Tesla could at least "partially" start production at Gigafactory 3 during the second half of 2019, as was initially reported by electrek.
It was unclear why China's most popular state-owned nationalistic tabloid made a point of highlighting Tesla's lack of action: is Beijing sending Musk a message that he better get a move on, or China may "sour" in its favorable relations with the electric carmaker?
In early December, Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee and Mayor of Shanghai, Ying Yong, had stated after meeting with Tesla China staff, that Tesla had "basically completed land leveling and [was] about to start construction".
But even the Musk cultists at electrek had to point out that the timeline looked optimistic. They concluded in early December:
First of all, the statement is surprising considering the factory status is a flattened piece of land and they expect vehicles to be coming off the assembly line within a year.
It was back in October that Tesla announced that it had secured over 200 acres of land for Gigafactory 3 in China.
And the Shanghai Gigafactory may not be the only thing that is going not going according to plan for the electric car maker in China. Recall that back in late November, we noted that Tesla's sales in China had plunged an astonishing 70%. Just days ago, we reported that in addition to volunteering to pay for tax credits for customers, Tesla had (again) lowered prices in China, which to us signals either a continued lack of demand, negative impacts from tariffs, or worse: both.