China limits the use of Tesla by military and government personnel

SINGAPORE – China’s government restricts the use of

Tesla Inc.’s

TSLA -6.93%

Vehicles owned by employees of military, state-owned companies in sensitive industries and key agencies, citing concerns that the American electric vehicle maker’s cars could be a source of national security vulnerabilities, according to those familiar with the effort.

The move follows a government security review of Tesla’s vehicles, during which Chinese officials found that the cars’ sensors could record visual images of the surrounding locations. In addition, the Chinese government said Tesla could get various data about the vehicles, such as: B. When, how and where the cars are used, as well as personal information of the drivers and the contact list of the cell phones that are synchronized with the cars, people said. The government is concerned that some data might be sent back to the US, people said.

The government has informed some of its agencies to urge their employees to stop driving Tesla cars to work. Some of the people said Tesla cars are also banned from driving into residential buildings for families of employees who work in sensitive industries and government agencies. Their authorities told them the government has concerns that Tesla vehicles may be in record mode all the time, using cameras and other sensors to log various details, including short videos.

The Chinese State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla declined to comment on the government’s move. The Wall Street Journal referred to a comment it had previously made to Chinese media in response to previous concerns about data security. “Tesla’s privacy policy complies with Chinese laws and regulations. Tesla is committed to protecting user privacy, ”it says. It is also said that in-car cameras are not turned on for all Tesla vehicles in China.

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The Chinese market where chief executive

Elon Musk

was widely celebrated, has become more and more important for Tesla. Deliveries to the country last year helped the company achieve around 500,000 vehicle deliveries a global record. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which laid the foundation stone at its Shanghai plant in January 2019, currently manufactures the Model 3 Sedan and the Compact Sport Utility Vehicle Model Y at the plant.

Tesla’s stocks have more than tripled since the start of the year, a market capitalization larger than many of the giants of American industry. But fundamentals weren’t necessarily driving its rise. WSJ explains. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds / WSJ (video from 08/02/20)

Write to Keith Zhai at [email protected]

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