The US firm's Hong Kong subsidiary established Tesla (Shanghai) Limited on May 10 with a registration capital of 100 million yuan ($15.8 million), filings on the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System showed on Monday.
Its business range includes technology development, import and export of electric cars and components, it said, adding Tesla Motors HK Limited is the sole shareholder of the Shanghai company with an operation period of 30 years.
Production of electric cars is not included in the business scope though. Tesla already exports cars to China, one of the California firm's top markets.
Tesla has long eyed manufacturing its cars in China, the world's biggest electric market.
Its CEO Elon Musk said earlier this month that the company will announce a China location for a new "Gigafactory" that will produce batteries as well as vehicles.
China currently restricts foreign auto firms to a maximum 50 percent ownership of joint ventures with local companies.
But the policy changes will end shareholding limits for new energy vehicle firms as soon as this year, followed by commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger cars in 2022.
The automaker reported a less-than-expected net loss of $784.6 million on revenue of $3.4 billion in the first three months of this year.