China

Tesla Wins Case Against News Outlet that Published False Article Calling Giga Shanghai 'a modern-day sweatshop'

Tesla Wins Case Against News Outlet that Published False Article Calling Giga Shanghai 'a modern-day sweatshop'

Image: @bentv_sh/Twitter

Tesla won a case against a news outlet that, in 2020, published an article full of false information and called Giga Shanghai “a modern-day sweatshop.” The court ordered the perpetrator to remove the article, publicly admit their guilt, and pay monetary retribution.

At the end of 2020, Tesla faced a major smear campaign in China. Local news outlet PingWest published a lengthy article falsely describing the inhumane working conditions at the Shanghai Gigafactory, along with disruptions in production processes and tyrannical management. The author of the article stated that the factory produces cars with defective parts, endangering the lives of its customers. The journalist reported that employees working at “a modern-day sweatshop” are constantly processed without additional pay, and their meals consist of instant noodles or expired bread. At the same time, the writing style of the article makes the reader extremely empathize with the employees, forming a strong condemnation of Tesla for exploiting people for profit. At the time, the article did serious damage to the manufacturer's reputation.

Faced with defamation and reputational damage, Tesla filed a lawsuit to legally refute the claims in the article. However, immediately after the publication of that article, the Tesla China team reacted by refuting all the allegations in it.

On November 29, 2022, @ray4tesla/Twitter reported that the decision in the 2-year-old case had been released. According to the court order, Tesla won, and now PingWest will be punished. The verdict ordered the news outlet to remove the original article and all related articles from eight social media platforms. In addition, PingWest must publicly apologize and pin this information for 30 days. To top it off, the publication will have to pay Tesla monetary retribution of ¥100,000, which is about $14,000.


Tesla's development in China from the very beginning was filled with a lot of false information from the media. Initially, its source was American journalists, but after the opening of Giga Shanghai, Chinese journalists and some owners began to spread false information. Because of this, Tesla formed a legal department in China, which began to fight against defamation. To date, the company has already won a number of court cases and continues to clear its name. It is worth noting that Tesla has not lost a single case in China, which indicates that it provides working conditions in accordance with all laws and regulations, and produces cars of the highest quality.

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts; follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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