Chinese official says intelligent vehicles could pose internet, data security risks

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China needs to adapt regulatory measures to guard against Internet and data security risks associated with the development of intelligent vehicles, such as the unauthorized collection of personal information, according to an official at the information technology ministry.

“If regulatory measures cannot keep up in time, network security issues such as network attacks and network intrusions may post major security risks,” Xin Guobin, a vice minister with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a forum in the city of Tianjin on Saturday.

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Industry regulators will require companies to conduct self-inspections on automobile data security, network security and software upgrades, Xin said. It will study entrance standards for access to the intelligent-car network, according to the vice minister.

Xin, who forecast China’s sales of alternate-energy vehicles may rise to more than 1.7 million in the first eight months of this year and account for more than 10 percent of total new vehicle sales, said it is important to curb blind investments in the electric-vehicle sector.

China has been limiting redundant construction in the industry, Xin said, without providing details. The government will also take measures to ensure there is an adequate supply of key raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, according to the vice minister.

China is the world’s biggest market for alternative-energy vehicles, prompting concerns of over-investment and excessive capacity building. Of the 846 registered auto manufacturers in the country, more than 300 produce new-energy cars. The expansion in the country of companies such as Tesla Inc., NIO Inc. and BYD Co. has been accompanied by increasing number of EV businesses that run into financial difficulties.

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