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6 Aug, 2023 04:38

UK fears Chinese ‘spy’ cars – The Telegraph

British officials reportedly believe the imported electric vehicles pose a significant security risk
UK fears Chinese ‘spy’ cars – The Telegraph

British lawmakers have warned against imports of Chinese electric vehicles, claiming the technology embedded in the cars could be used to spy on citizens, according to a report in The Telegraph on Saturday.

With China leading the global EV market, cheaper Chinese vehicles are predicted to dominate the UK’s automotive sales. A cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns to the government that Britain stands to cede control over critical infrastructure to Beijing, with all the “attendant security risks.” 

“If it is manufactured in a country like China, how certain can you be that it won’t be a vehicle for collecting intel and data? If you have electric vehicles manufactured by countries who are already using technology to spy, why would they not do the same here?” an unnamed senior government official told The Telegraph.

The call comes in the wake of new government legislation, with car companies facing quotas for zero emission sales from next year, ahead of a ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030. 

“We know that China always thinks in very long terms. So if they were providing a product that could do more than just deliver the consumer’s desire to go from A to B, why would they not be doing it?” the source claimed. “They are high-risk products.”

The UK has previously restricted Chinese technology imports over the perceived security risks. In 2020 the government banned Huawei from Britain's 5G network, ordering the removal of all the firm’s equipment and services by the end of December 2023.

Last year the heads of the UK and the US domestic intelligence services accused China of economic espionage. Beijing denied the allegations, suggesting that the British intelligence was “simply projecting their own dishonorable behavior onto China.”

In 2021 the Chinese government itself allegedly barred American Tesla vehicles from entering sensitive areas over the potential risk onboard cameras collecting data.