Elon Musk promises Tesla cars don’t spy after China bans EVs for military

Musk says the cars won’t do anything Tesla thinks they will.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised its electric cars do not spy on anyone following reports the Chinese government partially banned the EVs over national security fears. Members of the military and state personnel reportedly can no longer drive Tesla cars to certain compounds, nor some state agencies and industries. Musk shot down the fears speaking at the China Development Forum, CNN reported Monday.

“If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we [would] get shut down,” he told guests, underscoring the company would not use its vehicles technologies to compromise Chinese secrets. According to the initial reports on China’s restricted Tesla use, the country is worried the car’s cameras and sensor capabilities could record images as well as their location. The government also doesn’t like that the cars can track data on where they’re driven and how drivers use them.

There’s absolutely no indication thus far that China’s move to restrict Teslas will hurt the automaker’s success locally, however. The country helped push Tesla very close to Musk’s 2020 goal of delivering 500,000 EVs in a single year as it ramped up production of the Model 3 at its new Shanghai-area factory. The company now also builds the Model Y in China, too. In the future, we’ll likely see the oft-promised $25,000 Tesla emerge from China first as the country becomes an important part of the automaker’s success.

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