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The Chinese military bans Tesla vehicles from its complexes because of the cameras they carry

The Chinese military has banned Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) vehicles from its housing complexes, citing security concerns due to cameras installed in the cars, according to two people who saw notices with the order. .

The directive issued by the Army recommends owners of Tesla vehicles park them off military property, they said, declining to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Residents of military housing were notified of the ban this week, they added. Bloomberg News had previously reported on the move.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government was restricting the use of Tesla cars by personnel of state-owned military companies in sensitive industries and key agencies as they could be a source of national security leaks.

It was not immediately clear if the measure applied to all those facilities. Shares of Tesla, whose value increased more than eight times during 2020, fell nearly 2% in early New York trading.

The China State Council Information Office and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment late Friday. The Chinese Defense Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tesla cars, which are popular in China and are produced in a factory in Shanghai, have several small external cameras to help with parking and autonomous driving. Your Model 3 and Model Y also have integrated rearview mirror cameras for driver safety that are disabled by default.

The Chinese military’s restrictions on Tesla came as high-ranking Chinese and US officials held a contentious meeting in Alaska, the first such face-to-face interaction since US President Joe Biden took office.

The move follows a government safety review of Tesla vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the campaign. Chinese officials discovered that sensors in Tesla cars could record visual images of surrounding locations, he added.

It was unclear whether the decision was related to heightened tensions between the United States and China. But the military’s apparent concerns underscore a broader challenge for automakers.

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