Tesla Builds R&D and Data Centre in Shanghai

Credit: InsideEVs

Tesla Inc has built a research centre and a separate data centre in Shanghai.

Earlier this year, the electric car maker which manufactures Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in a Weibo post had said that it has set up a data centre in Shanghai to locally store data collected by its vehicles sold in mainland China. The auto research and development centre, Tesla’s first outside the United States, employs engineers for software, electronics, materials and charging, Tesla was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.

In May, Tesla said it had established a site in China to store car data in accordance with separate regulatory requirements. This comes in the backdrop of a development in February when Tesla was summoned by China’s regulators to discuss the quality of its vehicles made in Shanghai, where it manufactures the Model 3 and the Model Y.

Authorities said they were concerned about several problems with the cars, including “abnormal acceleration” and “battery fires”, according to reports. China requires foreign companies to store user data on its soil since 2017 when its Cybersecurity Law came into effect. Tesla has now pledged to cooperate with Chinese authorities. Apart from Tesla, Apple Inc. also hosts the iCloud accounts of its Chinese users in a new data centre in China’s Guizhou province, in the southwestern part of China.

Tesla has also faced criticism from consumers directly. In February, it was forced to apologise after a video showed one of its staff members in Nanchang telling a customer that a potential overload of the state grid might have caused his electric vehicle to experience problems after charging.

Reinforcing Data Security

In China, several new laws have been released already such as China’s Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law. China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress announced the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China (PIPL) on August 20, 2021, which will come into effect on November 1, 2021.

As China’s first law specifically regulating the protection of personal information, the PIPL will have a direct and far-reaching impact on the protection of personal information rights of individuals, as well as data privacy compliance of enterprises, according to industry watchers. In May, Tesla said it had established a site in China to store car data in accordance with separate regulatory requirements.

Further, during a wide-reaching global semiconductor chip shortage over the past months, Tesla’s research team had tweaked some software programmes and made adjustments to ease the pressure brought by the chip shortage, according to a company statement.

Venkatesh Ganesh

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