Tesla Banned in China Over Spying Concerns

China has issued local bans targeting Tesla (TSLA) electric vehicles (EVs) over potential spying concerns. Beidaihe, a coastal community in China, has banned Teslas from entering the region based on concerns that Tesla vehicle cameras could be used to surveil Chinese officials. Here’s what you need to know about the Tesla models banned in China. 

Is Tesla banned in China?

The Chinese government banned Tesla models from entering or driving on roads in Beidaihe. The coastal community issued a ban after the People’s Liberation Army also banned Tesla vehicles from parking on bases, installations, and military housing communities. However, the ban doesn’t exclude Teslas from public roads and parking lots elsewhere, just Beidaihe and government interests.

Tesla EVs are banned in some parts of China, like these cars at the Shanghai factory
Tesla EVs at the Gigafactory in Shanghai | Getty Images

China didn’t specify whether the Model S, Model 3, Model X, or Model Y are uniquely of concern. Instead, the Beidaihe ban extends to all Tesla vehicles, regardless of model. 

Why did China ban Tesla?

While the Chinese government hasn’t banned Tesla all over the country, it did ban the automaker’s EVs for fears of spying. According to Reuters, Beidaihe is the site of a confidential leadership summit and a cause for heightened awareness of espionage. This isn’t the first time that China banned Tesla in parts of the country, though. Last year, the government and the People’s Liberation Army banned the EVs from parking and driving in specific sensitive locations. 

How long will the ban last?

According to Electrek, the Tesla ban will last two months. The Chinese government appears to be concerned with the sensitive nature of the leadership summit in Beidaihe, China. Furthermore, the coastal community’s ban on Teslas begins on the first of July and will run through September. 

The Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, China makes Teslas like the banned cars.
The Shanghai Gigafactory | Xiaolu Chu, Getty Images

Does Tesla have a factory in China?

Tesla has a gigafactory in Shanghai, China. The factory currently produces Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Still, the Shanghai factory isn’t the only producer of the models. The current American market Tesla Model 3s are primarily from California, where Elon Musk founded the company. Also, Tesla builds the bigger Model Y in California and Tesla’s new Texas gigafactory in Austin.  

Does the ban affect Tesla’s business in China?

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, quickly addressed last year’s allegations and bans associated with spying. First, Musk released a statement adamantly claiming that Tesla vehicle cameras do not spy on China or any other country. Next, Musk announced that Tesla would store all of the data it collects from the EVs in China, not the United States. Electrek reports that Tesla followed the data announcement with a public plan to build a data center in China.

Elon Musk stands next to a Tesla like the ones banned in parts of China
Elon Musk at a press event in China | Getty Images

According to Reuters, China is one of the automaker’s largest markets and manufacturing centers. Furthermore, Musk has been vocal about his support for the Chinese people and avoiding negative commentary at the government’s expense. Tesla is the only American automaker to establish manufacturing in the country without a mandated relationship with a state-supported entity, after all. Although the Chinese government is concerned about spying, it seems as though Tesla will continue production and distribution, with China at the heart of it all. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about Tesla!


RELATED: If a Tree Falls on a Tesla, Is Anybody Hurt?