The ongoing saga that is the relationship between the CCP and Tesla has once again taken another “interesting” turn.
Staff at some Chinese government officers were told this week not to park their Tesla cars inside of government compounds “because of security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles,” Reuters reported on Friday morning.
“At least two government agencies” in Beijing and Shanghai have been told the same, according to the same report. It’s unclear how many employees and vehicles this has a direct impact on.
It’s also unclear whether or not all government offices in Beijing are following similar restriction, Bloomberg noted. However, it does seem to us to be the type of small step China could take to send a continuing message to its citizens without coming out and telling them to avoid Tesla vehicles. The CCP, through China state media, had already threatened pressure on Tesla sales earlier this year due to how the company handled a protest over its brake quality at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show.
Despite the fact that cameras and sensors are found in many vehicles, the restriction “only applies to Tesla cars”, the report notes.
This isn’t the first time China has cited security concerns as a reason to ban Tesla vehicles. Back in March, China banned Tesla vehicles from military bases over similar concerns about the vehicles’ cameras. The ban was due to “concerns about sensitive data being collected by cameras built into the vehicles.”
Recall, Tesla shares slumped earlier this week when we reported that data from April showed that just 11,949 Tesla vehicles were registered in the country, down sharply from the 34,714 registrations in March, according to Bloomberg.
In addition to that data from China Automotive Information Net, additional data from China’s Passenger Car Association out last week showed that the company sold 25,845 Chinese-made vehicles in April, down from 35,478 in March. Separately, 14,174 EVs were exported, due to demand from Europe, the report notes.
Recall, before making somewhat of an about face on their recent attitude on Tesla (after Musk’s rebuke of bitcoin), Chinese state media had been anything but friendly to the U.S. auto manufacturer.
We have been documenting the ongoing spat between Tesla and the Chinese Communist Party over the last month, apparently (at least publicly) catalyzed by a protestor at the Shanghai Auto Show alleging faulty breaks on Tesla vehicles. This led to intense shaming by Chinese media, who called Tesla’s handling of the situation a “blunder” and suggested it could “inflict serious damage” on Tesla with the Chinese market.
The relationship between the automaker and the country was likely not helped along on Monday this week, when we posted a story detailing how a Tesla hit two Chinese policemen, killing one of them.