After reports surfaced that China is barring military and government personnel from using Tesla vehicles, citing a potential data security risk, Elon Musk has said that the electric car company would shut down if used for spying. Addressing the China Development Forum virtually, the Tesla CEO said that spying business is something Tesla would never get involved in.
"There's a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information. If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down," Musk told the forum, The Verge reported on Sunday.
According to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal citing sources, China has restricted people who work for the "military, state-owned enterprises in sensitive industries, and other government agencies" from using a Tesla vehicle.
"The Chinese government has informed some of its agencies to ask their employees to stop driving Tesla cars to work," the report mentioned.
According to the report, Tesla cars have also been reportedly banned from driving into housing compounds for families of personnel working in sensitive industries and state agencies.
"They were told by their agencies that among the government's concerns is that Tesla vehicles can be constantly in record mode, using cameras and other sensors to log various details, including short videos".
The Chinese government is concerned that those images can be sent back to the US.
The Chinese regulators are also taking a closer look at Tesla's operations in the country after recent videos on social media showed a Model 3 battery fire and malfunctioning vehicles.
Tesla said in a statement that its "privacy protection policy complies with Chinese laws and regulations".
"Tesla attaches great importance to the protection of users' privacy," the electric carmaker added.
(With IANS inputs)