Following a backlash from users and officials in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, Tesla revealed on Tuesday that it had set up a data center in mainland China to store the information obtained from users.
Chinese authorities banned the military and employees of state-owned firms from driving Tesla cars in March, citing fears that photographs from the vehicles’ cameras could be transmitted to the US.
The American electric vehicle manufacturer, which previously denied that its vehicles could be used for spying, has now opened data centers in China.
“We have set up a data centre in China to locally store data (collected by Tesla vehicles sold in mainland China) and we will add more,” the company said in a statement posted on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo.”
It also promised to “take care of the security” of that data.
Tesla’s path in China appeared to be paved with gold after founder Elon Musk was given unusual permission to construct a wholly owned factory in Shanghai, allowing the company to surge to the forefront of China’s massive electric car market.
However, the negative publicity generated by the official concerns and a high-profile customer protest at the Shanghai Auto Show last month raised concerns in a market where manufacturers cannot afford to make mistakes given the increasing competition.
Tesla has promised to work with Chinese authorities to resolve the conflict with the customer, who claims her Tesla’s brakes failed and she was nearly killed.
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