Use of Tesla Vehicles to be Restricted by Chinese Military and Special Personnel — Report

By McKenzie Carpenter Friday, March 19, 2021

Tesla Model S.

The Chinese government is in talks to restrict the use of Tesla vehicles for the military and state personnel over concerns of national security leaks, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported from today.

New Restrictions

According to people familiar with the matter, Tesla’s vehicles are a potential source of national security leaks as the AI technology collects data through the cameras and sensors located in and around the vehicles. China is concerned the EV company is collecting sensitive data like images and locations that could possibly be sent back to the United States (US).

The EV business did not provide a comment regarding the new reports but instead reiterated a statement from previous data concerns in the country, “Tesla’s privacy protection policy complies with Chinese laws and regulations. Tesla attaches great importance to the protection of users’ privacy.”

The EV company opened its first assembly plant in Shanghai in 2020, building the Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles. Due to the massive Chinese car company and its continued growth, the EV business was able to achieve its first full year of profitability for 2020 and sold nearly 500,000 vehicles.

All vehicles created by the EV business are equipped with several small cameras to help with parking and self-driving, but the Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles also have cameras in the rearview mirror that is disabled by default.

In 2019, CEO and founder of the EV company Elon Musk said of the rearview mirror cameras, “It’s there for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet. In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.”

This security run-in is not the first for the EV company. Last month Chinese regulators summoned the EV business over quality and safety issues associated with consumer complaints.

Other Tesla News

The company has made numerous headlines recently. Late last year, the business unveiled a new partnership with CureVac to develop a vaccine printer intended to produce a COVID-19 treatment.

In January, it was reported that a Chinese rival to the business, Evergrande, raised $3.35 billion to expand its operations and production capacity. Additionally, today it was reported the EV company and Ford Motor Company could expect some challenges ahead as the United Kingdom (UK) cut EV subsidiaries by £500 ($696.80).

Despite the obstacles that lay ahead for the EV business, Tesla has an estimated net worth of $621.71 billion and profited by $721 million from $31.5 billion in sales in 2020.

About the Author


Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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