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Elon Musk Blinks; Tesla China Strategy Revamped Over Fierce Rivalry

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Tesla Inc. is changing its marketing approach in China as fierce competition from domestic rivals and uneven demand puts its growth plans in the world's biggest electric-car market at risk.

The EV pioneer has extended insurance subsidies of as much as 8,000 yuan ($1,100) for new buyers, according to a post on its Weibo account, reinstated a user referral program and even advertised on a local TV shopping channel -- a rare move for a company that's proudly eschewed traditional advertising avenues.

The moves come after Tesla cut prices across its Chinese lineup for the first time in 15 months in October, as it faces a slew of headwinds there, from persistent Covid restrictions to more muscular local competitors.

The prospect of more challenging conditions in China is adding to pressure on the carmaker's shares, which sank to a two-year low on Monday and have lost almost half of their value in less than two months.

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