China’s Beidaihe, site of leaders’ conclave, bans Tesla cars for 2 months

A Tesla logo is seen at a Tesla showroom in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

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SHANGHAI, June 20 (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) cars will be banned from entering China’s coastal Beidaihe district, the site of a secret annual summer conclave of leaders, for at least two months from June 1. July, local traffic police said. official told Reuters on Monday.

The decision by authorities in Beidaihe comes just weeks after Tesla cars were also banned from driving on some roads in the central city of Chengdu in early June, which coincided with a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the city.

The head of the Beidaihe Traffic Police Brigade, who declined to be named, did not provide a reason for the decision but said it was about “national affairs”. An announcement will be made soon, the official said.

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Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beidaihe, a seaside resort east of Beijing, traditionally hosts a summer conclave of China’s top leaders where they discuss personnel moves and policy ideas behind closed doors. China usually does not officially announce meeting dates.

Chengdu’s restrictions on Tesla cars, which have not been officially announced, came to light after videos of Tesla cars being hijacked from certain areas by police were posted on social media.

Last year, the Chinese military banned Tesla cars from entering its compounds, citing security concerns over cameras fitted to vehicles, Reuters reported at the time citing sources who had seen the directive.

Musk said at the time that Tesla cars weren’t spying in China or anywhere else, and the company would be shut down if it did. Months later, Tesla said all data generated by cars sold in China would be stored in the country.

Car manufacturers are increasingly equipping their vehicles with cameras and sensors that capture images of a car’s surroundings. Controlling how these images are used and where they are sent and stored is a rapidly emerging challenge for industry and regulators around the world.

Tesla cars are equipped with several external cameras to help drivers with parking, changing lanes and other features.

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Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh and Kevin Huang; Additional reporting by Martin Pollard; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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