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China Set To Regulate Data Sent Abroad By Cars

Authorities striving to control the vast volumes of data gathered by cars as ‘smart’ vehicles proliferate

A Tesla electric vehicle (EV) drives past a crossing in Shanghai, China March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song


China, the world’s biggest auto market, said on Monday it will roll out assessment measures to regulate data sent abroad by vehicles, as the country steps up efforts to protect data and privacy.

As cars become “smarter” with more in-car entertainment, information and autonomous driving functions, automakers and tech companies are gathering more data from vehicles, raising privacy and security concerns.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not offer details about how the assessment would be done. According to current rules, auto companies cannot export key vehicle data abroad unless they obtain approval from regulators.

The ministry said regulators will improve monitoring of vehicle data security and encourage telecommunication companies to invest more in cyber security technologies.

The move comes amid China’s push to ensure the security of data as the proliferation of smart cars, such as Tesla electric vehicles, fuels concern about national security, in line with its broader aim to tighten policies around privacy.

Beijing has been increasingly concerned over the mountains of data amassed by private firms and whether such information could be attacked or misused, especially by foreign states. It recently implemented a new data security law and is tightening up oversight in other related areas.


• Reuters with additional editing by Mark McCord


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Mark McCord

Mark McCord is a financial journalist with more than three decades experience writing and editing at global news wires including Bloomberg and AFP, as well as daily newspapers in Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne. He has covered some of the biggest breaking news events in recent years including the Enron scandal, the New York terrorist attacks and the Iraq War. He is based in the UK. You can tweet to Mark at @MarkMcC64371550.


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