Tesla electric cars banned for two months from leadership summit site in China
US EV giant Tesla's electric vehicles have been barred from entering the Chinese coastal district of Beidaihe - the site reserved for a secretive annual summer party leadership conclave. The prohibition will come into effect on July 1 and stay for at least two months, a local traffic police official told Reuters. The reason for the move has not been disclosed but it is likely something to do with ‘’national affairs'.
The decision by the Beidaihe authorities comes just weeks after Tesla cars were also banned from driving on to some roads in the central city of Chengdu in early June. This move had coincided with a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the city.
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The upcoming summer conclave at Beidaihe beach resort east of Beijing will host China's senior leaders where they will discuss personnel moves and policy ideas in private meetings. The prohibition of Tesla cars from the area was not officially announced by authorities but came to light after videos were posted on social media of Tesla EVs being diverted away from certain areas by the police.
Tesla cars being barred from Chinese government or military sites is not something new. Last year, the Chinese military prohibited Tesla cars from entering its complexes. They cited security concerns due to the cameras installed on the Tesla vehicles which were capable of recording private and confidential talks related to national affairs.
At that time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said that the company's vehicles did not spy in China or anywhere else, and that if it did so, it would be shut by now. Few months later, Tesla also announced that all the data that is generated by cars it sells in China would be stored in the country.
Tesla's vehicles come with many external cameras installed on its exterior, assisting drivers with parking, changing lanes and other such features. However, they are also capable to recording what is going on in their surroundings.
(with inputs from Reuters)