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Elon Musk Assures China Tesla Isn't Using Its Cars to Spy

Tesla's camera-laden cars are not downloading confidential data to the U.S. government or anyone else because the risk of being shut down is too great, Elon Musk says.

Tesla  (TSLA)  technology and camera-laden electric cars are not roaming around spying on China or any other country, and would never provide the U.S. government with confidential data anyway because the risk of being shut down is too great.

Speaking via video link to the government-backed China Development Forum in Beijing, Tesla CEO Musk said that no U.S. or Chinese company would risk gathering sensitive or private data and then sharing it with their home government.

"Whether it's Chinese or U.S., the negative effects if a commercial company did engage in spying - the negative effects for that company would be extremely bad," Musk said over the weekend. The risk of being shut down by China or any other government for spying is "a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential."

Musk’s assurance that customer data is fully protected followed the Chinese government's decision last week to restrict the use of Tesla cars by military personnel or employees of key state-owned companies.

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Beijing had acted out of concern that sensitive data such as images taken by the cars' cameras could be sent to the U.S., people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.

Meantime, Cathie Wood's ARK Invest has come out with a new Wall Street high price target for Tesla that blows past even the staunchest Tesla supporters.

ARK now expects Tesla to hit $3,000 a share by 2025, representing a potential upside of 359% from Friday's close and a market valuation of about $3 trillion. ARK’s previous 2024 price target was $1,400.

The price target incorporates expectations that Tesla will launch an autonomous robotaxi service built upon its full self-driving tech platform, which could bring in as much as $327 billion in revenue, according to ARK.

At last check, Tesla shares were up 4.95% at $687.32.