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China can't get enough of Elon Musk's mom

Kelsey Vlamis   

China can't get enough of Elon Musk's mom
  • Maye Musk, the mother of Elon Musk, is really popular in China.
  • The model and dietician is also singing Tesla's praises while in China.

Maye Musk, Elon Musk's mom, is a celebrity in her own right.

The 76-year-old model, dietician, and parent of one of the richest men on Earth has 1.5 million Instagram followers and has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, among others.

But you know who really loves Maye Musk? China.

A new report in The Wall Street Journal details just how much.

"Chinese people like women whose image is elegant and sophisticated," Nadira Aisikaer, a Chinese makeup artist who said she was starstruck when she did Musk's makeup last year, told the outlet. "Western celebrities who are too sexy or bold can't get far in China."

Altman Peng, a professor at the University of Warwick in the UK, told the Journal Musk was the "perfect idol" for Chinese women who want to have it all — a career and kids — and stay hot while doing it.

Musk's 2019 memoir was a bestseller in China, and she's become something of an influencer for Chinese brands, according to the Journal, which reported that after she posted on Chinese social-media about a $200 massage waistband, over 140,000 of them sold.

Musk has also been talking up her billionaire son's work while visiting China. On May 12, Musk posted a photo on Instagram, which is blocked in China, with the location marked Shanghai, of flowers Elon Musk sent her for Mother's Day. She also shared photos of Teslas that she had presumably taken while visiting China.

"People love their Teslas everywhere I go. How do you like these Tesla colors? They are having fun with them in China," she wrote in the caption.

Musk also said she got the flowers after doing a TV interview that included admiration for Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory.

The EV maker is dealing with lagging sales in China, the world's largest car market, despite earlier years of growth, amid increased competition from Chinese makers.

Tesla car sales in China were down 18% in April from a year prior, BI previously reported. Also in April Bloomberg reported that Tesla's share of the Chinese auto market fell from 10% to 7.5% over a year.

But Elon Musk isn't giving up China without a fight. He made a visit to the country in April, and BI's Nora Naughton previously reported that Elon Musk appeared to be sending in reinforcement to shore up its business in China.

Maybe his mom can help.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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