Tesla CEO Elon Musk shut down speculation suggesting its cars are being used to spy on China. The country’s military revealed security concerns about the data the American-made vehicle’s camera may be collecting.

During a virtual discussion on a Chinese forum, Musk claimed Tesla would be out of business if it used vehicles to spy on other countries, BBC News noted.

“There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” Musk explained. “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”

Musk suggested the business wouldn’t be able to recover if it intentionally used the installed camera system on the electric car to monitor foreign governments. “The negative effects for that company would be extremely bad,” he said.

Musk’s comments come after the Chinese military banned Tesla vehicles from its facilities.

The U.S. has reportedly grown concerned about the growing number of Chinese companies operating on its soil, and China reportedly shares the same sentiments about American businesses.

Tesla sold 147,445 vehicles in China in 2020, acquiring 30% of its global total, Reuters reported. China is considered the world’s biggest car market for Tesla and other electric vehicles.

Tesla has become one of the first foreign car manufacturers to operate and own a plant in China.

Musk has a history of trying to ease tensions and encourage trust between the U.S. and China’s competing economies.

The surge in Tesla's share price means the company is worth more than General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen combined. The surge in Tesla's share price means the company is worth more than General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen combined. Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB