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China to Ban Tesla for Two Months at Senior Leader Meet Site

Ban comes just weeks after Chengdu police diverted Tesla cars away from numerous parts of the city during Xi visit.

China steps up anti-Tesla activities, banning cars from Beidahei ahead of important party meeting and after Chengdu police kept them away from Xi during visit there.
Tesla vehicles parked outside a building at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. Photo: Reuters.

Local police in Beidahe have said Tesla cars will be banned from entering the coastal district for at least two months starting July 1.

Beidahe is at the site of an annual, secretive senior party official meeting.

The move comes just weeks after Tesla cars were prohibited from driving on some roads in the central city of Chengdu, the timing of which coincided with a visit by President Xi Jinping.

The official from the Beidaihe Traffic Police Brigade, who declined to give his name, did not provide a reason for the move but said it concerned “national affairs,” adding an announcement would be made soon.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beidaihe, a beach resort east of Beijing, traditionally hosts a summer meeting of China’s senior leaders in which they discuss sensitive topics such as personnel changes and new policy ideas, behind closed doors. China does not usually announce the meeting dates.

Chengdu’s restrictions were not officially announced and came to light only after videos posted on social media showed Tesla cars being diverted away from certain areas by the police.

Last year, the Chinese military banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles, according to sources who saw the directive.

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Musk said at the time that Tesla’s cars did not spy in China or anywhere else. Months later, Tesla said all data collected by cars in China would remain within China.

Automakers have been increasingly equipping vehicles with cameras and sensors that capture images of a car’s surroundings.

Tesla cars have external cameras to help drivers park, change lanes and other features.

China is one of Tesla’s largest markets as well as production sites.

Tesla’s Shanghai plant made about half of the 936,000 vehicles the company delivered globally last year. However, the factory has this year been hobbled by lockdowns which closed the plant for a record 22 days.

  • Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath




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Neal McGrath

Neal McGrath is a New York-based financial journalist. Neal started his career covering the Asia-Pacific region for the Economist Intelligence Unit, then joined Asian Business magazine. He's subsequently held a variety of editorial positions covering business, economics, finance and sustainability. Neal has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and the US.


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