Tesla takes to Chinese social media to ease local spying fears | Engadget

Reeling from a ban on its EVs from China’s military facilities, Tesla is making an attempt to clear the air over the nation’s spying fears lest they spill over right into a broader, nationalism-fueled boycott. According to Reuters, the US automaker took to its Chinese social media web page to verify that cameras in its vehicles will not be activated exterior of North America. 

“Even in the United States, car owners can freely choose whether to turn on its [the camera’s] use. Tesla is equipped with a network security system with world-leading security levels to ensure user privacy protection,” Tesla wrote on Weibo, China’s tackle Twitter.


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Reports surfaced final month that China was prohibiting army personnel and workers from key state-owned firms from parking their Tesla vehicles on amenities or bringing them to work. The situation stemmed from the myriad cameras packed into the EVs that officers seemingly thought might be used to report actions at a base or monitor troop actions. Tesla’s new Model 3 and Model Y vehicles additionally come geared up with a cabin digital camera above the rear-view mirror that may seize quick video clips within the occasion of a crash or collision. 

Though Tesla makes it clear on its website that these programs are turned off by default, it has once more been compelled to play down Chinese surveillance fears to stave off a nationwide incident. Tesla chief Elon Musk beforehand mentioned it will “get shut down” if it used vehicles for spying in China or every other nation.

Foreign firms have come under fire of late in China for calling out the federal government’s alleged use of Uighur Muslims for compelled labor. The broader US-China commerce struggle has additionally stirred anxieties of potential Chinese retaliation within the wake of the Trump administration’s crippling sanctions on Huawei. Adding to the stress Tesla faces, China is the corporate’s largest market behind its native US, with sales within the nation greater than doubling to $6.7 billion final 12 months. 

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