US car maker Tesla opened an official account "Tesla legal department" on China's Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo on Monday, after the company found itself in hot water over a rising number of accidents and quality issues in China.
The set up of legal account has gone viral on Chinese social media and raised sensation among Chinese netizens.
"Is Tesla trying to educate and popularize basic knowledge of the law to its clients?" said a netizen named Aixiaojindou.
"If you keep protesting will we be contacted by their lawyer" commented another netizen known as Yannis.
The account is registered and held by Tesla Shanghai and falls into the category of automobile transportation. An introduction to the account said "think independently and tell right from wrong."
"In terms of independent thinking, saying Tesla is good is independent thinking, otherwise it is framing the company," said a netizen named guyuecang.
The account has over 3,500 followers and follows 10 accounts, including Elon Musk, the Tesla recruitment team, Tesla battery charging, Tesla customer support and a couple of senior executives of Tesla China.
Prior to this, Tesla has been processing disputes through the official account of Tesla customer support.
The set up of a legal account can be seen as a move by the company to influence Chinese public opinion through more stringent legal means to maintain its brand reputation, so as to save the declining sales following a number of quality related issues, Feng Shiming, a car analyst told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The leading US electric carmaker has been under the media spotlight following a slew of traffic incidents, with many reportedly linked to its braking system.
Statistics from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed that Tesla sold 25,845 electric vehicles in April in the Chinese market, down 27.15 percent from March's 35,478 vehicles.