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ADMIN 2021. 12. 02.  
   제목: China뭩 Jaded Techies Find a Hero in Elon Musk

China뭩 Jaded Techies Find a Hero in Elon Musk

The Tesla boss and digital prankster is striking a chord, at a time of disillusionment with the tech industry and its leading tycoons.

By Raymond Zhong
March 11, 2021

China is having its techlash moment.

The country뭩 internet giants, once celebrated as engines of economic vitality, are now scorned for exploiting user data, abusing workers and squelching innovation. Jack Ma, co-founder of the e-commerce titan Alibaba, is a fallen idol, with his companies under government scrutiny for the ways they have secured their grip over the world뭩 second-largest economy.

But there is one tech figure who has managed to keep the Chinese public in his thrall, whose mix of impish bomb-throwing and captain-of-industry bravado seems tailor-made for this time of dashed dreams and disillusionment: Elon Musk.

밐e can fight the establishment and become the richest man on earth and avoid getting beaten down in the process, said Jane Zhang, the founder and chief executive of ShellPay, a blockchain company in Shanghai. 밐e뭩 everybody뭩 hope.

Whether out of hope, envy or morbid curiosity like spectators hoping to see one of his rockets go down in a fiery blast China cannot get enough of Mr. Musk. Tesla뭩 electric cars are big sellers in the country, and the government뭩 growing space ambitions have spawned a community of fans who track SpaceX뭩 every launch.

Social platforms brim with videos and articles pondering whether the South African-born billionaire is a trailblazer or a fraud, and examining everything from his upbringing to his taste in Beijing hot pot joints. Start-up founders swear by his belief in 밼irst-principles thinking, which looks for solutions by examining problems at their most fundamental level. A stack of books by Chinese authors promises to reveal the secrets of the 밪ilicon Valley Iron Man, which is the nickname that seems to have stuck in China, not King of Mars or Rocket Man.

In a long thread about Mr. Musk on the question-and-answer site Zhihu, a user named Moonshake writes that most people start out full of hope but gradually accept the 뱈ediocrity that is their fate.

밢nly a superman like Musk can move past the endless mediocrity and toward the infinite, to see the magnificence of the universe, Moonshake writes.

Another user in the same thread says he named his son Elon to express his admiration. The user did not reply to a message seeking further comment.

Tesla뭩 giant factory near Shanghai started production in 2019 and helped ramp up the company뭩 manufacturing capacity. When Tesla뭩 share price hit a new high in January, making Mr. Musk the planet뭩 wealthiest man, Chinese fans claimed credit. (Mr. Musk뭩 reaction to the news 밯ell, back to work 뀛 was liked 22,000 times on the Chinese social platform Weibo.)

Later that month, as Mr. Musk endorsed the run-up in GameStop shares, many in China were riveted, drawn to the drama by the same distrust of big financial institutions.

밢ccupy Wall Street could never be copied in China, said Suji Yan, an entrepreneur and investor in Shanghai. To do that, 뱘ou뭗 have go on the streets, he said. Buying protest stocks is safer.

Excerpts articles from The New York Times


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