- The Chinese government released a statement notifying all military personnel of the immediate ban on all Tesla vehicles on or near military areas.
- Elon Musk defended Tesla’s position and aims to rectify the misconceptions the Chinese government has about Tesla vehicles.
- China accounts for nearly 25% of Tesla's global sales.
China, which is the world's biggest market for electric vehicles (EV) by the number of EVs sold every year, has reportedly banned military and government personnel from using Tesla vehicles, citing a potential data security risk posed by the Elon Musk-run electric carmaker.
Commenting on the Chinese government's decision, Elon Musk stated that he would shut down the company if he finds that the cars are being used to spy. According to a Reuters report, China has barred Tesla cars from entering its military and security complexes earlier last week. Tesla EVs have a total of 8 cameras; 3 front-facing, 2 side-cameras, and 2 side-rear-facing cameras under the front fender badges, and one rear-facing camera. These cameras provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range.
This was out of security concerns as the Tesla vehicles had cameras installed in them. So, the Chinese authorities believe that the cars could be used to collect government information to spy on the country.
As mentioned in the report, the talks came up after top U.S. diplomats held a physical in-person discussion with the Chinese diplomats in Alaska as a contentious meeting. This meeting was the first in-person discussion between the two superpowers since President Joe Biden took office.
The Chinese authorities are concerned that data gathered by Tesla vehicles, such as images taken by the cars' cameras, could be transmitted to the US.
The Chinese automobile market is critical to Tesla. It equates to roughly a quarter of Tesla's global sales and it also operates a factory in Shanghai.