Some officials in China have been banned from parking Tesla cars on government premises due to concerns over the cameras installed in these vehicles, Reuters reported on Friday, citing two anonymous sources.
The agency considers the ban to be the latest manifestation of the Chinese authorities' distrust of the American company Tesla at a time of continuing tensions in relations between Beijing and Washington.
According to sources, employees of at least two government agencies in Beijing and Shanghai were verbally asked by their superiors not to park their electric tesla on the premises. It is unclear whether similar rules have been introduced in other Chinese agencies and cities, and authorities have not responded to requests for comment.
While many automotive companies install cameras and sensors in their cars to assist drivers in maneuvers such as reversing or changing lanes, the parking ban only applies to Tesla, Reuters points out. Earlier, the agency informed, also based on anonymous sources, about the ban on the entry of cars of this brand to some military facilities in China.
Car manufacturers are installing more and more cameras and sensors in their vehicles to observe the surroundings. Controlling how data from these devices is used, where it is sent and where it is stored is emerging as a new challenge for industry and regulators around the world.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly spoken about the value of data collected by cars for the development of autonomous vehicles. However, after reports of a ban on entry to certain military areas in China, he argued that if Tesla had used cars to spy on, it would have been shut down.
Andrzej Borowiak from Canton (PAP)