Elon Musk Denies That Tesla Cars Spied On Chinese Military

The Chinese government released a statement yesterday notifying all military personnel that they was an immediate ban on all Tesla vehicles on or near military property. As a result of the advanced technology installed within these vehicles, the fear was that the on-board cameras and technology would be used to spy on military officials and would somehow record and exploit critical data, in the process. The Chinese government isn’t taking any chances, and a ban on Teslas anywhere near their military units seemed like a swift and simple way to ensure their most secure data remains completely private.

The government remains distrustful of Tesla’s intentions and capabilities when it comes to collecting, storing, and sharing data. According to The Hill,  Elon Musk just broke his silence on the matter and is speaking to the media in an effort to rectify this situation. He denies any wrongdoing or attempts at espionage, and maintains the integrity of his brand.

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The Hindustan Times reports that Elon Musk used his appearance on today’s China Development Forum to defend his position, and to rectify misconceptions the government has about Tesla. Musk took advantage of this platform by shutting down any and all claims that he has intentions or capabilities to execute on the government’s accusations. He went on to say that if Tesla ever used its cars to spy in China, or anywhere, they would get “shut down everywhere.”

Clearly aware of the implications of such actions, Musk vehemently denied any wrongdoing and set forth to demonstrate how irrational that the thought of governmental spying would be. He voiced that this would be far too big a wager to take with his brand, and tried to put the minds of the Chinese representatives at ease, in hopes that the government would ease restrictions and lift the ban.

Musk gave assurances on the protection and privacy of China’s customer data, as he plead his case. The Wall Street Journal quoted Musk as saying; “Whether it’s Chinese or U.S., the negative effects if a commercial company did engage in spying—the negative effects for that company would be extremely bad. If Tesla used its cars to spy in any country, he said, it would be shut down everywhere… this is a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential.”

The Chinese market is critical to Tesla. In fact, it equates to roughly a quarter of Tesla’s global sales, and the stakes are high for Musk to bridge this gap and re-establish the Chinese government’s trust in his brand.

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Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Hindustan Times, The Hill,

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