Is Your New Car A National Security Threat?

The CCP bans Tesla cars from driving in certain provinces when and where important party business is taking place?


Wired Headline: Is Your New Car a Threat to National Security?

Subheadline: Putting sensor-packed Chinese cars on Western roads could be a privacy issue. Just ask Tesla.

STARTING THIS WEEK, Teslas won’t be welcome in the Chinese resort town of Beidaihe. The electric cars are strictly banned on the streets of the coastal city for the next two months, as senior Communist leadership descends on the city for a secret conclave.

It’s not the first time, either. The city of Chengdu barred Teslas in advance of a June visit from President Xi Jinping, Reuters reported, while some military sites have similarly forbade Elon Musk’s flagship product. While no official reason was released, the bans seem to be out of concern that the vehicles’ impressive array of sensors and cameras may offer a line of sight into meetings of Beijing’s senior leadership.

It’s a curious move. China is, increasingly, one of the most connected countries in the world—Chinese industry has even tried to brand Chengdu as the “5G Joy City,” where locals are encouraged to stream their daily lives.

What is good for the Goose Spy, is good for the Gander Spy as well. Think about how our government is freaking over tik-tok data being assembled on US users in China. Now can we expect Nios, BYDs, Xpengs, and other Chinese EV exports to spy on US consumers in their new Chinese cars and on our roads?

This will be a Frontline, 60 Minutes, the Atlantic, or John Oliver investigative piece in the near future:

It’s not a concern unique to Xi’s government. As Chinese automakers gear up for a big push into the West, anxieties are already mounting as to how those vehicles could phone their robust trove of data home.

The future of transport is certain to be electric and autonomous vehicles. They could also be the future of espionage.

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