Tesla’s first overseas data centre opens in Shanghai

The electric car manufacturer, Tesla, has announced on Monday (25 October) the opening of its new research and data centre, the first of its kind built outside the United States in Shanghai, China.

The 210-acre Gigafactory data centre, in the city’s Lingang district, was first unveiled in April as per Chinese regulations, where subsidiaries in China are required to store their data within the country.

China’s latest data security law, which is based on the 2017 cybersecurity law, has set out major rules on governing the storage and transfer of data of Chinese origins amid greater public scrutiny of how personal information is handled.

The launch of this centre means both the company’s further localisation process, and new research and development, will be undertaken in China, with a focus on sectors including software, hardware, electronics, materials, power and energy.

The state-run media outlet, Global Times, indicates the completion of the centre shows the US-based carmaker’s “positive attitude toward the Chinese market” in spite of tensions between the two countries in critical subject areas such as data security.

Earlier in September, Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) reassured his commitment to continuing investing in China and stressed that, “all personally identifiable information is securely stored in China without being transferred abroad” as data security is “key to the success of intelligent and connected vehicles”.

The company’s annual output in China is expected to exceed 450,000 units for the first time since it broke ground in Shanghai two years ago. While the Chinese production site contributes to nearly 30 per cent of Tesla’s total exports in the first half of 2021, the company’s localisation rate is believed to reach 90 per cent by the end of this year.

Overall, these localisation efforts, and being in line with the Chinese government, will allow Tesla to further make advancements within the Chinese market of electric vehicles.

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