Elon Musk denies Tesla spying after reported ban in China’s military complexes
Tesla Inc chief Elon Musk on Saturday denied the US electric car company will use its products to spy on any country in the wake of reports about Tesla cars being banned to enter some military complexes in China.
If Tesla uses its cars to spy on China or anywhere in any country, “we will get shut down everywhere,” said Musk regarding security concerns involving Tesla at the China Development Forum 2021 via video call.
Musk’s denial came after Reuters reported that Tesla cars are banned from entering Chinese military complexes over security concerns due to cameras installed on the vehicles, citing two sources who said had seen notices of the directive.
Trying to dispel concerns in the market coming with the unconfirmed reports, Musk cited the US’ arbitrary ban on Chinese short video-sharing platform TikTok, calling the case not “necessary and rational.”
While it’s understandable for the US billionaire to call for governments to treat legal operations of foreign businesses in the perspective of the market, it’s inappropriate to associate TikTok’s case with Tesla’s reported ban, said experts.
The two cases are different in essence. Even if the reported restrictions on Tesla are true, it’s just limited to “individual sensitive regions,” said Song Guoyou, director of the Center for Economic Diplomacy at Fudan University.
Citing groundless security guises, the US government had imposed national restrictions on TikTok’s legal operations in the market, but the Chinese government opened its market and provided supportive measures for Tesla, Song said.