Chinese Military Prohibits the Use of Tesla Cars for Personnel, Report Says

A shot inside Tesla Shanghai store on November 2nd, the day of Shanghai’s “outside the city” policy passing. Photo: Twitter user @ray4tesla

Tesla’s performance in China, the world’s largest auto market, depicts a growing trend towards electric vehicles (EVs), though a new decision made by the Chinese government limits access for state and military personnel to use Tesla’s cars.

China has cited national security concerns in a decision to prohibit military and state personnel from the use of Tesla’s EVs, according to the Wall Street Journal (via CNBC).

The decision follows a security review of Tesla’s vehicles, which reportedly found that Tesla’s sensors could record its surrounding locations, along with obtaining key data, and other personal information from owners’ phones, like contact lists and more.

The ultimate concern for China may be that US officials could share the information with intelligence in the US government. While Tesla’s cars have performed well in the Chinese market, there are also a number of Chinese automakers beginning to produce EVs, including NIO, Li Auto, and Wuling HongGuang, among others.

Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk alleged that Chinese EV startup Xpeng Motors had stolen an early Tesla Autopilot source code, which supposedly explains why the company’s navigation system looks so similar to Tesla’s.