Chinese authorities believe that Tesla electric vehicles can track people, and therefore restrict their use by the military and officials. The head of Tesla said that if these suspicions are true, then the company will simply be closed.
This week, the American Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese authorities saw a threat to national security in Tesla cars. Officials worry that the cameras installed in Tesla can collect and store video material, and the synchronization of systems of cars with smartphones allows them to track their owners. The Chinese authorities believe that this data may eventually end up not only with Tesla, but also with the US government, with which China is in a so-called trade war.
Because of this, the authorities privately restrict the use of Tesla electric vehicles by the military, employees of important strategic companies and officials.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk once said that he complies with all the requirements of Chinese laws regarding user safety.
Now, according to Asia Nikkei, Musk has promised to close the entire company altogether if the suspicions of the Chinese authorities are confirmed.
“We have a very strong incentive to respect the confidentiality of any information. If Tesla uses its vehicles for spying in China or anywhere else, we will simply be shut down, ”Musk said.
In 2020, Tesla earned $ 6.66 billion in China. This is about a third of the company’s total annual profit. The Chinese market is not only the largest in the world, but also strategically important for companies in the struggle for leadership in the production of electric cars. Among the Chinese companies, Tesla is competing with NIO and Geely – the first brand is all-electric, and the second is creating a separate brand for the production of premium electric cars.