China military bans Tesla cars from accessing military housing complexes due to security issues over the cameras installed into the vehicles, Bloomberg reported citing people who saw the notice.
Why did China military ban Tesla cars?
The military advised Tesla owners in the order to park their vehicles outside the military premises, according to people aware of the directive. They wished to remain anonymous because of the confidential information. The military housing residents received the ban notification this week. It brought about concerns that Tesla, the world’s largest electric car manufacturer is fetching sensitive data through the cameras installed in the cars.
According to the WSJ report, the Chinese government was banning the use of Tesla’s cars by personnel of military and state-owned companies. This was due to the risk of national security leaks. However, it was not unconfirmed if the move implemented to all military compounds.
“The restriction comes as President Xi Jinping increasingly moves China away from foreign technology as Beijing’s technological battle with the U.S. intensifies. The move appears to mirror U.S. restrictions on the use of communications equipment made by a slate of Chinese companies including Huawei Technologies Co. The Chinese tech giant that Washington has labeled a national security threat over fears it could spy for Beijing—allegations that Huawei denies.”
Tesla vehicles, similar to that of General Motors Co., have many small cameras mainly installed externally. They help in parking and self-driving. Model 3 and Model Y also have enclosed cameras in the rearview mirror for driver safety.
Risk of ‘exposed locations’
According to the military notice, multi-direction cameras and ultrasonic sensors in Tesla cars may “expose locations”. Also, the cars are being blocked from military complexes for the security of confidential military information.
China’s State Council Information Office and Defense Ministry did not seem to comment on the matter. While Tesla spokesperson in China refused to comment on the military notice.
Tesla has previously become a victim of controversy over the use of cameras. Last week, a hacker gang claimed to breach the valuable data from security cameras gathered by Verkada Inc. Consequently, they were able to access several videos including some from the Tesla warehouse in Shanghai.