Elon Musk explained on Saturday that if Teslas were being used for spying the company would have to be shut down, reports Reuters.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the comment from Tesla's CEO came after reports that China has barred military and government personnel from using or driving Tesla vehicles over security concerns linked to spying.
Musk spoke out for the first time regarding this issue via video link on Saturday to the China Development Forum.
"There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information," Reuters reported Musk saying. "If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down."
Elon Musk told a prominent Chinese forum during a virtual discussion. “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”— BurnerBits (@burner_bits) March 20, 2021
Source : CNBC pic.twitter.com/ia8KLBTIfi
Sources told Reuters on Friday that Tesla cars had been banned from entering China's military complexes. The reason being that the exterior cameras fitted onto the vehicles, which continuously film footage, could be used for spying or gathering data, to then send them back to the U.S.
The electric vehicle competition in China
If this trend of banning Teslas keeps up in China, this could create a huge economic impact on the electric vehicle company as the nation is a huge market for Tesla.
On top of that, with its Shanghai Gigafactory in action, Tesla wouldn't want to slow down sales of its electric vehicles.
Per Reuters, 147,445 Tesla vehicles were sold in China in 2020, which mark 30 percent of its global total.
That said, the electric vehicle market is rife with competition in China. Many local electric carmakers are poised to take over the market, and Tesla has some steep competition in that market.