On New Year's eve, Tesla ($NASDAQ:TSLA) boss Elon Musk was taking photo ops (with his mom, no less) as throngs of buyers flocked to Tesla's Fremont headquarters to pick up their cars ahead of an expiring $1,875 tax credit. The event was well covered, and all credit due to Musk and mom, people were loving not just the effort, but the in-person appearance.

Meanwhile, 6,163 miles from Fremont, Tesla was reducing the price of its Model 3 in China in a bid to attract more Chinese buyers. Along with government subsidies, the new price puts the Model 3 price closer to competing EVs from companies like Xpeng and NIO.

This move showed analysts how serious Tesla is about the Chinese market. However, what better illustrates Musk and co's commitment to China is its hiring pattern in the country in the past year.

At the end of 2018, Tesla was hiring for 128 people in China. As of this week, that number is 610 — a 376% increase. This far outpaces even Tesla's hiring increases in the United States during that time, which at 145%, are healthy on their own.

A breakdown of hiring activity by country over the past year shows the relative change and how China has become — by far — the second most in-demand market for which Tesla is hiring, as it hopes to ramp up production and begin delivering cars.

According to the company's WeChat account, Tesla China will begin delivering cars on January 7, and Musk says that weekly production of cars in Shanghai will hit 3,000. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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