SOURCE / ECONOMY
Tesla seeks to allay concerns over data security in China
Published: Apr 13, 2021 09:03 PM
Photo taken on Oct. 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai, east China. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Oct. 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai, east China. Photo: Xinhua



A Tesla executive on Tuesday sought to allay recent concerns over data security in its popular electric cars, reiterating that all data collected in China will be placed and stored in China.

After attending a roundtable forum held by the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planner, Tao Lin, Tesla's global vice president, said that the company's operations in China must abide by all Chinese laws and regulations.

Information collection by all smart cars in the future may follow a standard configuration, Tao said, adding that in this process, it is necessary to cooperate with regulatory authorities at all levels to formulate a comprehensive plan to allow consumers to enjoy both convenience and safety. 

The remarks came as Tesla's use of in-car cameras has raised more concerns among the public in China and elsewhere.

In late March, Reuters reported that the Chinese military banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles.

Tesla's China-made Model 3 is equipped with eight cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors. 

Tesla said on April 7 that the internal cameras were not activated in markets outside of North America, adding that even in the US, car owners can freely choose whether to use them or not. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also said that the company will never use its products to spy on any country. 

"If Tesla used its cars to carry out espionage activities in China or anywhere, we would get shut down...There's a strong incentive for us to be confidential," he was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying during a recent virtual meeting.

Tesla sold 35,478 cars in March in China, a monthly record. Sales of the Model 3 cars reached 25,327, an increase of 85 percent from the previous month, the best-ever monthly sales for this model in the Chinese market. 

Sales of the recently launched Model Y exceeded 10,000 for the first time in a single month, reaching 10,151 units, an increase of 119 percent from the previous month.


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