tesla-model-sTesla has trouble selling their cars in China, because of a trademark dispute against Te Si La.

More and more car manufacturers are making hybrid or even fully electric cars. But one of the top players is Tesla. The American company makes freakishly fast electric cars that can drive up to a few hundred kilometres on one charge, where others only have a range of 30-50 km, and aren’t nearly that fast. Tesla is popular. Very popular. Also in China.

Tesla recently opened its first flagship store in downtown Beijing and this week launched a Chinese-language website to take orders from Chinese car buyers.

Absent from the website is Tesla’s Chinese language name, a rare omission for a global brand entering China. The reason behind this is Zhan Baosheng, a Chinese businessman who registered “Te Si La” in 2006, and is refusing to give the trademark up.

This could prove a difficult issue for Tesla. Worst case scenario, they have to change their name for the Chinese market. Or pay up. Big time. Maybe offering a free Tesla Model S will do the trick.

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