The news outlet has already countersued.
Earlier this month, we reported about claims made by a Chinese media outlet regarding quality control issues and "sweatshop" like working conditions at Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory including limited food available for workers. That facility has been producing the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y at blistering rates in order to meet local demand, and PingWest's investigation alleges this all comes at a price. Tesla immediately denied the accusations.
According to Global Times, Tesla has sued the parent company of PingWest, the Beijing PingWest Interact Technology Co., over the accusations made in the published article.
Tesla's vice president of Chinese operations, Tao Lin, already publicly denied the accusations calling them "outrageous," but that apparently didn't send a strong enough message. PingWest, however, isn't backing down. Not only does it stand behind its story and continues to protect its sources, but has also filed a lawsuit against Tesla for infringing on its right of reputation via the internet.
"PingWest has found that the insanely high production volume has not been the direct result of the technological advancement that Tesla is known for, but rather the same old high-intensity manual labor that still plagues many industries inside China," part of its expose reads.
PingWest is now required to submit any counter-evidence to Tesla's suit by February 8. The timing of both lawsuits is not exactly ideal for Tesla since it's continuing to focus on increasing its general presence in the world's largest automotive market. It has already achieved disruptor status there as longtime luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz are losing market share to the EV automaker. Chances are, PingWest's findings will do nothing to deter buyers.
Throughout the country, owning a new Tesla has become a status symbol. Tesla stores have reported customers have placed deposits for Model Ys without taking test drives. This isn't the first time Tesla has been the source of controversy and certainly won't be the last.