Tesla internet connected cars to be banned in China for Data Security concerns

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Tesla vehicle owners in China are facing a concerning situation as the looming ban on foreign electric vehicles from the company comes into effect. The issue ignited when an airport in a prominent southern city enacted a ban on parking Tesla electric cars on its premises due to concerns over data security.

The response from Beijing indicated that this ban could potentially extend to other transit stations due to mounting worries about data confidentiality. However, authorities clarified that the restriction would be limited to public roads, and vehicle movement and parking on private properties would remain unaffected until further directives are issued.

The backdrop for this development lies in Beijing’s recent introduction of an anti-espionage law that obliges foreign corporations operating within China to contain information storage and processing within the country’s borders. Essentially, any data generated within China must be stored and processed locally and should not be transmitted to foreign servers.

This legal shift has posed challenges for multinational companies, with Apple encountering its own set of difficulties. Industry experts predict that the American electric automaker, Tesla, could also face hurdles due to this law. While the warnings issued by dealerships to potential buyers about a potential ban might not have practical grounds, it has stirred uncertainty within the market.

China has emphasized the necessity for companies to adhere to its data compliance regulations, and Tesla finds itself among the entities unwilling to take substantial risks. This is particularly significant considering that Tesla, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has captured a substantial 19% share of the annual electric car sales in China.

Addressing the situation, the former CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, clarified that the “Sentry” feature in their vehicles has been modified to align with the prevailing information compliance laws in China. He also expressed the company’s willingness to take further measures if circumstances dictate.

For reference, Tesla’s “Sentry” mode is a security feature that surveils the vehicle’s surroundings when parked, utilizing its cameras to monitor any unauthorized activities and promptly alert the driver in case of potential issues.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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