Teslas have been banned from Chinese military establishments over fears the cameras on the cars could be used for spying.
Reuters reported on Friday that the Chinese armed forces had stopped models from Tesla entering its bases.
However, boss Elon Musk has denied the spying claims, saying the firm would be ‘shut down’ if its cars were used for snooping in a market which accounted for 30 per cent of its total global sales last year.
Speaking to the China Development Forum yesterday, Musk said: ‘There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information.
‘If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.’
The restrictions on Tesla entering Chinese military bases surfaced as Chinese and US diplomats met at a contentious meeting in Alaska.
The official order is reported to state that all Tesla owners should park their cars outside of military property in the country.
The ban extends to military housing after the Chinese state government issued fears over information collected by the Tesla cars that it could not ‘see or control’.
A notice from the military, revealed on social media sites in the country, points to concerns Tesla models – such as the S, 3 and X – could ‘expose locations’ sensitive to the Chinese government.
Tesla representatives in China have declined to comment on the concerns.
Tesla uses a large number of cameras in its cars for parking and its autopilot functions.
The cameras are already used by the manufacturer to monitor participants in its self-driving trials, and its these trails that have apparently caused concern in China.
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