Tesla EVs have been banned from entering a Chinese resort town due to fears of espionage ↺
It is well known that most modern electric vehicles are equipped with a large number of sophisticated sensors which are required for various functions and safety assistance systems like Tesla's Autopilot and full-self-driving feature. However, the fact that these cars are also equipped with cameras appears to be a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, which apparently does not trust Tesla’s data privacy.
In preparation of an upcoming meeting of high-ranking Chinese officials, the coastal resort town district of Beidaihe, which is about a two-hour drive from the capital Beijing, has issued a Tesla ban for a minimum of two months according to a report by Reuters. More specifically, the temporary ban will come into effect on July 1, which is when Tesla vehicles will no longer be allowed to enter the district. The exact reason for this rather peculiar measure has not been officially disclosed, but in view of recent events, it can be assumed that China is still worried about possible espionage carried out by these camera-equipped Tesla vehicles.
About a year ago, the Chinese military took similar steps by banning Teslas from its military bases. In response, CEO Elon Musk vehemently clarified that the information and footage collected by Tesla’s electric cars is kept confidential and is not used to spy on China or any other country in the world. To back this up, Tesla has explicitly promised to store the sensitive data on local servers in China. However, Musk’s commitment to data protection apparently has not dispelled China’s fears of being spied on by the cameras that are installed in the aforementioned electric vehicles.