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Tesla builds data center, R&D facility in China

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-26 13:42

Photo taken on Oct 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tesla said on Monday that it has built a research facility and a data center in Shanghai, both of which will be put into use soon, as the United States electric carmaker ramps up its localization strategy in the country.

The R&D facility, Tesla's first outside the US, employs engineers for software, electronics, materials and charging, it said in a statement. Tesla said the facility will develop over time similar in size to the one in the United States.

"The goal of Tesla's team in China is to design, develop and produce new vehicle models and products with Chinese cultural elements in China and sell them globally," said Tesla in a recruitment post last month.

Tesla's China gigafactory, which is also located in Shanghai, started production in late 2019, and was its first vehicle manufacturing facility outside of the US.

The plant, which now has an annual production capacity of 450,000 vehicles, is producing Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and a big chunk of them are exported.

The newly built data center in Shanghai will store Tesla's operation data locally. At an industry forum in September, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said data security will become even more important when vehicles are becoming smart and autonomous.

"Data security is not only the responsibility of any single company but also the cornerstone of the whole industry development.

"Tesla will work with national authorities in all countries to ensure data security of intelligent and connected vehicles," he said.

China issued trial guidelines on automobile data protection in August in a move to protect drivers' privacy and safeguard national security as vehicles are becoming increasingly digitalized in the world's largest auto market.

Tesla said data about its vehicles sold in China as well as their local production, sales, after-service and charging information will be stored locally in the country.

"Vehicle data security is crucial. We are convinced that their uniform and standard regulation benefits the sector's long-term development. We at Tesla will observe the regulation and ensure data and personal information security," said Tesla in a statement in August.

Smart vehicles with sensors and operating systems are gaining in popularity worldwide. In China, the world's largest vehicle market, around 15 percent of vehicles sold last year had some form of smart and autonomous functions, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

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