Privacy concerns: China restricts Tesla driving for officials

The Chinese government is restricting the use of Tesla vehicles by military personnel and employees of key state-owned companies. This reports that Wall Street Journal with reference to insiders who are not named. The government in Beijing therefore fears that the data collected by the e-cars, for example via a large number of surveillance cameras and sensors, could endanger the national security of China if it were transferred to the US to the manufacturer’s headquarters.

According to the report the government has ordered some national authorities to stop letting their employees drive to work with Teslas. There was also talk of a ban on using the wagons in barracks and in residential complexes with families of employees in sensitive industries such as aerospace and public administration. It is feared that Tesla vehicles are constantly in recording mode and record various data including short videos.

The move follows a safety check of individual vehicles of the car manufacturer on behalf of the Chinese executive. It has been confirmed that the measured values ​​can be used to easily track when, how and where the cars are being used. The contact lists would also be read from cell phones that are synchronized with battery-powered cars.

The Chinese head of state Xi Jinping wants to make the Middle Kingdom increasingly independent of foreign technology. At the same time, the trade war with the USA has been intensifying for months. According to the report, China is responding to US export restrictions on components for communications equipment from Chinese companies like Huawei by issuing instructions. Washington has classified the network supplier and smartphone manufacturer as a threat to national security and banned its products in US cellular networks.

The Chinese market has become increasingly important for Tesla in recent years. Last but not least, the sale of 147,445 vehicles in the country helped the e-mobility company to achieve a record of around 500,000 vehicle deliveries worldwide last year. After opening a plant in Shanghai, the group prevailed over domestic manufacturers as the market leader for electric cars in 2020.

Elon Musk, boss and “technoking” of Tesla, wooed the Chinese in view of the allegations: “We are very motivated to treat information very confidentially,” he emphasized on Saturday as a virtual participant at the Chinese Development Forum in Beijing. “Should Tesla use cars to spy in China or elsewhere, we will be shut down.” It would be good if China and the US were generally less suspicious of each other. According to its own information, Tesla adheres to Chinese law with its data protection regulations.

In October, the data protection expertise network in this country came to the conclusion in an expert report that data processing in a Tesla 3 “in many respects violates the European requirements” of data and consumer protection. Eight cameras provided 360-degree all-round monitoring of the vehicle environment at a distance of up to 250 meters. They would be supplemented by ultrasonic and radar sensors. Tesla vehicles should “not be allowed on European roads” due to the associated guard mode.

The Dutch authority Persoonsgegevens, as the responsible EU data protection supervisory authority, has proceedings against the US group underway, but will not comment on them until they have been concluded. Bavarian data protection officials had announced that they wanted to scrutinize the guard mode legally and technically, but initially did not get around to it due to corona restrictions.

Audi e-tron (Sportback) Peak power 230 – 300 kW

Continuous output 100 kW

Battery capacity 71 – 95 kWh gross

max. charging power direct current 150 kW (at certain Ionity charging points)

Min.charging time DC 5 to 100%: 50 minutes

Range (WLTP) 284 to 441 km (Sportback: 287 – 450)

Power consumption (WLTP combined) 21.7 to 26.1 kWh (Sportback: 21.2 – 25.9)

Top speed: 190 (e-tron 50) or 200 km / h (e-tron 55)

Trunk volume: 660 to 1725 liters (Sportback: 615 to 1665)

Base prices (as of January 2021): 69,100 to 81,500 euros (Sportback 71,350 to 83,750 euros)


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