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China’s Beidaihe, site of top leadership conclave, blocks Tesla cars for two months

China's Beidaihe, site of top leadership conclave, blocks Tesla cars for two months

Tesla cars will not be allowed to enter China’s coastal district of Beidaihe, the site of a secretive annual conclave for leaders over the summer for at least two months from July 1, a local traffic police officer told Reuters on Monday.

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

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The Beidaihe Traffic Police Brigade official, who declined to give his name, gave no reason for the move, but said it was “national affairs”. An announcement will be made shortly, the official said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beidaihe, a seaside town east of Beijing, traditionally hosts a summer conclave of China’s senior leaders, where they discuss staff movements and policy ideas behind closed doors. China usually does not formally announce the dates for the meeting.

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

Last year, the Chinese military banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing safety concerns about cameras installed on the vehicles, Reuters reported at the time, citing sources who had seen the directive.

Musk said at the time that Tesla’s cars were not spying on China or anywhere else, and that the company would be shut down if it did. Months later, Tesla said any data generated by cars it sells in China would be stored in the country.

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

Tesla cars have several remote cameras to assist drivers with parking, lane changes, and other functions.

Read: China bans Elon Musk’s Tesla cars from military residences, cites camera concerns