Tesla cars are not allowed to drive in China’s coastal district of Beidaihe in July and August. The government organizes an annual summit in that district. The Chinese government has long been concerned about the espionage risk posed by the cars.
An officer of the Beidaihe . traffic police says to Reuters that the Teslas are not allowed to enter the area because of ‘national interests’. The Chinese government is expected to announce more about the blockade soon. Tesla cars would not be welcome in the coastal area for at least two months.
In Beidaihe, a seaside town east of Beijing, the Chinese government holds a summit every summer. Here, senior officials discuss staff changes and policy plans behind closed doors. The date of this consultation will not be communicated in advance. Perhaps that is why the blockade of Tesla cars is taking so long, in order to prevent the date of the summit meeting from being known.
The Chinese government is more likely to ban Tesla cars because they contain multiple cameras that can store images while driving or stationary, for example for Sentry anti-theft mode. China fears that these images could also be used for other purposes. For example, military and government personnel should not be allowed to drive Tesla cars. Earlier this month, Tesla cars were banned from Chengdu, according to Reuters, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the city.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year that his cars are not used for spying in China or elsewhere in the world. Later, he also promised that data from Chinese Teslas will be stored in China.
A Tesla Model Y.