Commenting on “national security” concerns, the Chinese government has reportedly banned the use of Tesla vehicles by government and military personnel in certain government areas.
According to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, People’s Republic of China is suspected to be concerned that Tesla’s high-tech vehicles could be a source of data leaks or foreign inspections. Of particular concern is the high number of sensors and internal cameras installed in Tesla’s cars – the preferences of which could be used to capture sensitive data “back to the U.S.,” government officials are concerned.
The ban was reportedly issued by the Chinese military and barred government officials from using the vehicles in certain areas of government and the military, as well as “driving the homes of family members working in critical industries and government agencies.” The ban follows the heels of Tesla’s “state security review” by the government, reports the WSJ, whose popularity seems to have gone too far.
The review raised concerns about the information collected by Tesla – including car location details and a list of phone contacts related to the car’s internal systems.
We’ve just covered that today’s modern car is basically the value of personal information (preferences that can be shared, sold or stolen), so China’s concern may not be without merit.
In addition to this, Tesla has had a few iffy security incidents in recent years. In 2016, security researchers – in China, and less – showed that they could remotely hack company cars via its wifi; hijackers have the ability to pump the brakes, open the trunk and open the windshield of a car window. The latest episode where a burglar managed to gain access to hundreds of the company’s internal security cameras through a third-party provider also caused concern.
The ban also shows that the technology industry has become a hotbed of political conflict between the U.S. and China. Under President Trump, the U.S. It brutally moved into any Chinese technology company that saw it as a threat to “national security” – to list most companies successfully and to try to block their access to U.S. audiences. While also cutting back on investment. That China would respond in the same way seems to fit the lesson.