Spying fears have reportedly led China to ban Tesla vehicles from the coastal district of Beidaihe for two months, ahead of a secretive government leadership meeting.
Starting on July 1, Tesla vehicles will be banned from the area, a local police official told Reuters. The official did not provide an official reason for the decision to ban the American vehicles but did say that it concerned “national affairs.”
Although the city did not make an official announcement about the restrictions in Beidaihe, one is expected to come soon, according to the police official. It came to light, however, on social media after videos of Tesla vehicles being diverted away from certain areas by the police were shared.
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The Chinese government does not normally announce the dates of its conclave in Beidaihe. The closed-door meetings, in which senior government leaders discuss personnel moves and policy ideas, does normally take place in the summer months in the city, which is a beach resort to the east of Beijing.
These reports come just weeks after Tesla’s vehicles were prevented from driving on certain streets in the city of Chengdu. That policy was implemented during an official visit from China’s president, Xi Jinping, in early June.
Last year, meanwhile, Tesla vehicles were banned from entering Chinese military complexes over fears that the cameras installed on them could become security concerns. At the time, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that its vehicles were not used to spy in China or elsewhere. Shortly after, the automaker said that all data generated by the cars it sells in China would be stored within the country.
Increased scrutiny over the vehicles and inconvenience for drivers could be a concern for Tesla. China is one of the company’s largest markets and a large portion of the vehicles it makes are constructed in the country.