Tesla Opens Data Center in China to Obey Cybersecurity Law for Foreign Companies

Home Technology Tesla Opens Data Center in China to Obey Cybersecurity Law for Foreign Companies
Tesla Opens Data Center in China to Obey Cybersecurity Law for Foreign Companies
A man sits inside of a Tesla car Model 3 as a vendor talks to him at a Tesla shop inside of a shopping mall in Beijing on May 26, 2021.
A man sits inside of a Tesla car Model 3 as a vendor talks to him at a Tesla shop inside of a shopping mall in Beijing on May 26, 2021.
Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP (Getty Images)

Electric car company Tesla will open a data center in Shanghai, China in order to store data collected from its customers’ cars in the country and stay on the right side of Beijing’s cybersecurity laws, according to a new report from the South China Morning Post. All data that foreign companies collect in China about their customers must be stored in China in order to adhere to a tough data law passed in 2017.

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“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. All data generated from cars sold in mainland China will be stored within China,” Tesla wrote on the social media app Weibo, sometimes known as China’s version of Twitter.

Apple recently built its own data center to adhere to the same law for Chinese users of its iCloud storage service, as the South China Morning Post notes. That move previously drew criticism from human rights groups that worry it gives the Chinese government too much access to the iCloud data of Chinese users—data that previously would’ve required a U.S. court order when the iCloud keys were stored on American soil.

Tesla expanded into China, the largest electric car market in the world, in 2019 but has come under increased scrutiny in the country over the past few months. Customers in China have raised concerns over safety, including during a highly publicized spectacle at the Shanghai Auto Show last month when a protester stood on a Tesla Model 3 while shouting, “Tesla brakes fail.”