We previously reported that Tesla's cars are banned in Chinese military areas due to camera concerns. Thanks to Tesla's Autopilot cameras, Sentry Mode camera-based security system, and TeslaCam built-in dash cam, its cars have been banned from parking at military bases in China since the technology could potentially capture and save confidential footage.
Following that story, Tesla CEO Elon Musk chimed in. He explained that Tesla has to be very careful with confidential information. He said that if Tesla was using its cars to spy in China, it would be shut down. Tesla Beijing added that the cameras in question aren't even activated outside of North America.
Apparently, those words weren't enough to minimize fears of Tesla's ability to spy in China. The automaker's cars, and wherever Tesla stores the data, could be filled with data that people fear could get into the wrong hands. Now, Tesla has made a pledge to store all data collected in China locally.
According to Automotive News, China head of communications and government affairs Grace Tao said at a meeting in Beijing with top companies from the US:
“Tesla China is a company that’s based here and must abide by all Chinese laws and regulations. In fact, our data will be very well protected. Chinese data will be stored in China.”
China is the biggest automotive market in the world and a key location for Tesla. Musk has gone so far as to say that it will be the electric car maker's largest market. The Gigafactory in Shanghai is already cranking out Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and Tesla's Q1 2021 production and delivery numbers substantiated China's positive impact.