Biden orders probe into Chinese electric vehicles over security concerns

President Biden has ordered an investigation into the potential national security risks posed by Chinese-made electric vehicles and other smart cars, as part of his broader effort to counter China’s technological and economic rise. The investigation, which was announced on Thursday, will examine whether the advanced features and connectivity of these vehicles could allow China to collect sensitive data from American drivers, or even remotely disable or manipulate the cars on US roads. The investigation could lead to new restrictions or tariffs on the imports of Chinese vehicles, which are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Asia.

Chinese vehicles could spy on Americans, Biden says

Biden said that he launched the investigation because he was concerned about China’s ambitions to dominate the global auto market, and its use of unfair practices to achieve that goal. He said that China’s policies could flood the US market with its vehicles, which could pose serious risks to the national security and the privacy of Americans.

Biden said that modern cars are like smartphones on wheels, and that they are connected to the internet, the phones, the navigation systems, and the companies that made them. He said that Chinese vehicles could use this connectivity to gather and send back sensitive data about the drivers, their personal information, their biometric data, and their whereabouts. He also said that Chinese vehicles could be remotely accessed or disabled by someone in Beijing, which could create chaos and danger on American roads.


Biden said that he was not going to let that happen on his watch, and that he was taking unprecedented actions to ensure that cars on US roads from countries of concern like China do not undermine the national security. He said that he had directed the Commerce Department to conduct the investigation under a Trump-era executive order that gave him the authority to protect the domestic information and communications technology from foreign threats.

Commerce Department to seek information from manufacturers

The Commerce Department, led by Secretary Gina Raimondo, will conduct the investigation and seek information from the manufacturers of electric vehicles and other smart cars, as well as from the regulators and the stakeholders. The department will focus on the vehicles that have features such as driver assistance, autonomous driving, and internet connectivity, which could enable data collection and remote control.

The department will also look into the sources and the security of the software and the hardware used in these vehicles, and whether they comply with the US standards and regulations. The department will also assess the impact of these vehicles on the US economy, the environment, and the public safety.

The investigation will not impose any immediate restrictions or tariffs on the imports of Chinese vehicles, but it could lead to such measures if the department finds a significant risk to the national security. The department will also consider the possible responses and remedies under the US law and the international trade rules.

China denies any wrongdoing, accuses US of protectionism

China has denied any wrongdoing and accused the US of protectionism and discrimination. China has said that its electric vehicles and other smart cars are safe and reliable, and that they do not pose any threat to the national security or the privacy of any country. China has also said that its vehicles comply with the international standards and regulations, and that they respect the laws and the sovereignty of the countries where they operate.

China has also said that the US investigation is based on false allegations and groundless suspicions, and that it is aimed at suppressing the development and the innovation of the Chinese auto industry. China has also said that the US investigation violates the principles of fair competition and free trade, and that it harms the interests of the consumers and the businesses in both countries.

China has urged the US to stop the investigation and to respect the market rules and the international order. China has also warned the US that it will take necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests, and to defend its national security and dignity.

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