A circular issued by the Chinese military has put Tesla, Inc. on the news, but for the wrong reason. The circular was issued on March 19, 2021, and was posted at a military hospital. It states that Tesla-branded vehicles come with devices (such as camera, radar and GPS) that could expose the whereabouts of any location the car is present in. In order to protect the secrets of the military and to counter any malicious practice by people who can access the data, Tesla vehicles have been banned from high-security districts of China. Further inspections will be conducted at the homes of people that own Tesla cars and the situation will be assessed accordingly.
While many are touting that Tesla vehicles could be banned entirely from China, that is not the case. Any nation would not like to have geographical details of their military district to be available to everyone around the globe. It could legitimately compromise their security. The circular just states that Tesla cars have been banned from being present in certain premises.
The news must have come as a shocker to the company as the first Tesla plant constructed outside of America was in Shanghai. The Tesla Model 3 had been selling well in the country. The company had also been clocking good sales numbers in China. But this new development could possibly put a dent in the growth and future of the company.
However, it will not be a surprise if other governments follow suit along with this incident. Connected car technology is becoming more and more common these days. The features are meant to collect data about the car and the surrounding in order to make commutes safer and easier. Radar-based features and camera can help avoid accidents at times when the user is not able to react promptly. But there has been a question about the safety of the data being collected and measures taken by car manufacturers to ensure that such sensitive information does not fall into the hands of the wrong people.