Tesla treated as security threat in China as University Games loom

Image Credit: The Kilowatts/Twitter

Tesla is being treated as a security threat in China as the World University Games are set to begin late this week in the City of Chengdu.

President Xi Jinping is set to make an appearance at the games, and Tesla vehicles are being barred from the event as a security measure, according to several anonymous sources. Officials are being told by authorities in Chengdu to block Tesla vehicles in some areas that are related to the event.

Since 2021, China has expressed concerns over Tesla’s exterior cameras and whether they are capturing sensitive information. The issue arose at a time when the United States and China were on extremely rocky terms, and the Chinese government was concerned about data collection by the all-electric vehicles.

Tesla vehicles then underwent a security review from Chinese officials, and the main points of concern from the analysis came from the cameras and the synching of smartphones to the car.

China made the decision to ban military members and government officials from driving a Tesla in March 2021.

Tesla cameras raise China’s suspicion, military and gov’t employees banned from buying cars

Bloomberg News reported that a video on Chinese social media also showed a Tesla driver being denied entry into a venue in Chengdu, although they were not able to independently verify the video.

When these allegations of spying and data collection were brought forth several years ago, CEO Elon Musk responded that the company would get shut down if it used its vehicles to capture sensitive information that could be used in a political setting:

“There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information. If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”

He even compared the concerns to the U.S. potential ban of TikTok:

“The United States wanted to shut down TikTok. Luckily, it did not happen. Many people were concerned about TikTok. But I think this kind of concern is unnecessary, and we should learn lessons from it.”

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Tesla treated as security threat in China as University Games loom
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