Tesla Will Shut Down If Its Cars Could Spy: Musk Post China Ban

China banned Tesla cars for government and military use, citing alleged security risks by its electric vehicles.

Tech and Auto
1 min read
Elon Musk refuted charges that Tesla’s cars can be used for spying. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company would shut down if its cars are used for the purpose of spying, Reuters reported. His comments came in response to recent news of China banning the use of Tesla cars for government and military use, citing alleged security risks posed by the company’s electric vehicles.

"There's a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information," Reuters quoted Musk as telling a prominent Chinese forum during a virtual discussion. The CEO urged greater mutual trust between the world's two biggest economies.

Sources told Reuters on Friday that the Chinese military has banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles. China is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) amounted to 1 and 0.25 million in 2020, respectively.


Tesla’s electric vehicles have a total of eight cameras; three front-facing, two side-cameras, two side-rear-facing cameras under the front fender badges, and one rear-facing camera. These cameras provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 metres of range.

Those restrictions surfaced as the top Chinese and US diplomats were holding a contentious meeting in Alaska – the first such in-person interaction since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

He was holding a discussion panel with Xue Qikun, a Chinese scientist specialising in quantum physics who is now head of Southern University of Science and Technology.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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