The lawmakers in China think that Elon Musk’s Tesla automobiles is trying to infringe the country’s national security!
According to a recently surfaced media report, the Chinese government has prohibited its military staff and government employees from using Tesla cars by citing a potential security risk related to the electric automaker’s data collection procedure.
Sources in the know of the crackdown have revealed that people who work for the Chinese military, state-owned enterprises operating ‘sensitive’ industries and other government agencies will not be allowed to drive a Tesla. This decision came after a security review flagged the ability of Tesla cars’ exterior cameras to constantly record images.
The Chinese government is now concerned that those images might be getting sent back to the United States.
U.S-China Trade War: Tesla Caught Between Rock And A Hard Place
With this allegation against Tesla, Musk’s electric automobile company has become the latest victim of the long ongoing trade feud between the U.S and China. Both countries met this week to resume trade negotiation.
There is no doubt that China’s recent decision mirrors that of the U.S, which previously placed several restrictions on Chinese companies, including Huawei, which was deemed a potential security risk on American soil.
Despite China embracing EV manufacturing and Tesla’s initiates, the country’s President Xi Jinping seeks to move his country away from the use of foreign technology to promote the welfare of domestic enterprises.
It is important to note here that if China’s ban on Tesla exists perpetually, it can very well complicate Tesla’s future growth plans in the country. Just last year itself, the company became profitable, all thanks to Tesla’s growing popularity in China.
Currently, China is considered the largest market for electric vehicles, and Tesla is the top seller of EVs. It is the perfect match! Producing automobiles in China has long been a goal of Musk.
In 2017, the company first confirmed that it was in talks with Chinese officials in order to open a factory in the country. From thereon, China even went on to relax its rules for foreign manufactures to give Tesla more freedom which resulted in the first Gigafactory that was set up in 2018.
As of now, Tesla has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the recent issue. But, it has however pointed out a previous statement the company made regarding its data collection procedures.
In that statement, Tesla mentioned that its privacy protection policy is in complete compliance with Chinese laws and regulations. And that the company stresses a lot of importance on protecting their users’ privacy.
All in all, it now remains to be seen how will this debacle impact Tesla’s relationship with China in the near future. We will keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned.