Tesla cars have been banned from entering Beidaihe, a Chinese resort town, for two months over concerns about spying amid a meeting of the country’s leadership.
For the most part, Tesla and the Chinese government are believed to have a good relationship.
The two came to a deal that resulted in Tesla being the first foreign automaker to fully owned a car factory in China without having to have a joint venture with a state-owned company.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also been known to praise the Chinese people and has refrained from criticizing the Chinese government.
Nonetheless, the Chinese government has indicated clear concerns that Tesla vehicles could be involved in spying activities in its country.
Last year, the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, issued a notice banning Tesla owners from parking their vehicles on bases and in housing complexes.
The concerns appeared to be related to Tesla’s use of cameras all around its vehicles and where the data is going.
Musk even commented on the story by stating the obvious: “Tesla is not using its vehicles’ cameras to spy on China,” but it didn’t seem to alleviate the concerns as even more government entities reportedly told employees not to park their Tesla vehicles on government property.
Following those situations, Tesla later announced that it will store all data collected in China locally.
A few months later, Tesla announced a new data center in the country in order to do just that, but it didn’t seem to alleviate all concerns.
Today, the local traffic authorities in Beidaihe announced that all Tesla cars are going to be banned from its roads for at least two months:
Tesla cars will be prohibited from entering the Chinese coastal district of Beidaihe, site of a secret annual summer party leadership conclave, for at least two months starting on July 1, a local traffic police official told Reuters on Monday.
Beidaihe is a resort town not too far from Beijing, and it has been known to host meetings of the Chinese leadership in the summer.
While the authorities didn’t comment on the reason behind the ban, the assumption is that they don’t want the cameras on Tesla vehicles to catch anything related to the meeting.
China is Tesla’s most important market in the world, and the automaker is planning to grow in the country as it doubles the production capacity at Gigafactory Shanghai.
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