back to article Chinese 'connected' cars are a national security threat, says Biden

Concerned over the chance that Chinese-made cars could pose a future threat to national security, Biden's administration is proposing plans to probe potential threats posed by "connected" vehicles made in the Middle Kingdom. In a statement this morning, the US President said the fact that most modern automobiles are "like …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    Why restrict it to Chinese connected cars? I know of a lot of people who are concerned about cars from *any* manufacturer that are connected to goodness knows what these days.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Came to say the same thing

      I don't want China to be able to disable my car as part of a tit for tat if they invaded Taiwan and the US was helping Taiwan defend itself. But I wouldn't want a US or EU based automaker to have that power EITHER.

      Because if they have that power, that means hackers could potentially gain that power, or my government could force them to use it against me. They'd say they are taking that power "for the children" (i.e. disable a vehicle identified during an "Amber Alert") but that's always how it starts. Pretty soon they are disabling your car because you have $100 in unpaid parking tickets or because your wife said something mean to the police chief's wife and she went crying to her husband.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Came to say the same thing

        The USA decides it doesn't want the millions of Chinese electric cars owned by Americans sending back audio/video recordings of everything around them

        The Eu, China, India decides it doesn't want the same thing with Tesla

        The difference is that Telsa actually have sales that can be hurt by this

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          China will have a lot of sales in the US eventually, simply because they are able to manufacture cars significantly cheaper. Just like Japan and Korea took a big chunk of the US automotive market.

          Tesla is losing share in China because now they have competition, and will eventually be like other US/EU brands having just a tiny niche from people wanting to show "I have so much money I can afford to buy a car from the US/EU!"

          So even if this might hurt Tesla more in 2024, it will be helping them (and Ford et al) by 2034.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          Chinese manufacturer BYD already outsells Tesla worldwide.

          1. Dr_N
            Coat

            Re: Came to say the same thing

            I hear there is already a club for the BYD Seal.

          2. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Came to say the same thing

            Maybe, but when will they all execute Halt-and-Catch-Fire?

            The same question applies to both brands tbh...

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Came to say the same thing

            Yes, but are they equipped with the EV equivalent of 'Atmos'??? (invented by Sontarans, of course)

            When it suddenly steers you into a deep body of water and leaves the windows up and the doors locked... "You have reached your final destination"

        3. Julian 8 Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          Want a cheap EV in the UK - ie,not pay a 50% premium on a Ford/Vauxhall/Renault/etc that removes the ICU with EV. then the Chinese brands looks really attractive.

          Seeing more of their cars in London all the time

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Came to say the same thing

        Many people seem to be ignorant of the fact that EU-built vehicles are now mandated to have an Emergency Call system installed which sends and records your GPS position continuously. No, they can't prevent your car from starting but I don't want my movements to be tracked by anyone.

        For all I know car companies are going to sell this information to advertisers which sell it on to LEA or intelligence agencies.

        It's a creepy world we live in. Orwell would be surprised if he were still alive.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          The basic EU eCall system only broadcasts your position if the car is involved in a crash (probably airbags deployed).

          However, car companies are eager to whore your data to world+dog and that is far more of a privacy issue. What should be happening in USA/EU is a rule with serious financial penalties so you get to chose no data if you want, and it must be honoured without any nagging or essential systems just not working.

          One can dream, but the EU is the more likely place for that to happen. If it ever does.

        2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          Orwell's remains cannot speak due to their fast spinning. But if he could, he would shout: «IT WAS A WARNING, NOT AN INSTRUCTION!»

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          which sends and records your GPS position continuously.

          No it doesn't, that would be illegal and unusable (there are over 250 million cars in the EU). eCall makes an automated call to the emergency services if it detects that the vehicle has been in a crash, or if someone pushes the "help" button, and will then transmit position data.

          The system description is quite clear:

          " Your eCall system is only activated if your vehicle is involved in a serious accident. The rest of the time the system remains inactive. This means that when you are simply driving your vehicle, no tracking (registering your car's position or monitoring your driving) or transmission of data takes place.

          When a call is made through your 112-based eCall system, your personal data is processed according to EU data protection rules. This means that the emergency services only receive the limited data they need to deal with the accident situation, your data is not stored for any longer than necessary, and is removed when no longer required.

          It would be a violation of GDPR to do anything else.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Came to say the same thing

            that would be illegal and unusable

            Has not stopped such things in the USA. FISA abuse, for starters.

            A distributed database with 250 million sets of records is NOTHING. I can see how to build and use such a thing, tie it in with motor vehicle departments and law enforcement, and make it available for anyone that wants the data with the right "warrant" even though we know FISA has already been abused like this.

            A daily report of GPS location and time, taken every 5 minutes, means 12 records per hour of driving, consisting of a 64-bit integer (seconds since the epoch), and 3 double precision floating point values (longitude, latitude, elevation). Total 32 bytes times 12 for each hour of driving, indexed to your VIN number, which is associated with YOU.

            NOT hard at all. Not a lot of data, either. (I know)

            And all law enforcement needs is a place to look or a person to investigate, and if this information NEVER shows up in court, it does not need to be "admissable evidence" as far as anyone is concerned.

            Best hope those in power do not suddenly say "Find me the man and I'll find you the crime".

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Came to say the same thing

          see icon

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Came to say the same thing

        "I don't want China to be able to disable my car as part of a tit for tat if they invaded Taiwan and the US was helping Taiwan defend itself. But I wouldn't want a US or EU based automaker to have that power EITHER."

        A VERY SANE summary.

        Besides, the one thing about the actions of that doddering old fool (King Bidas, and his puppetmasters behind the curtain) is that it is currently an election year. And you always know he is lying whenever his lips are moving.

        (This will all blow over after November)

    2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      In that sense Chinese cars may even advantageous because they also sell cheap, no frills cars with nothing but a radio and an electrric heater. No electronics (save for the charger / motor controller) at all.

      1. Phiphi in SoCal

        By 'no radio' you mean AM/FM

        There will be a Wifi/BT transceiver somewhere.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: By 'no radio' you mean AM/FM

          My guess is that they would work like the Apple air-tags. They communicate through *any* apple phone they are in range of.

          A Chinese could can save up whatever data it likes and send it all whenever a Huewei device comes in range.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: By 'no radio' you mean AM/FM

            Wrap it in tin foil? Some people swear by that method.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: By 'no radio' you mean AM/FM

          but specifically NOT an AM radio.

          Most conservative talk radio is on AM after all, and is VERY anti-CCP and pro-Trump. Make up an excuse like "the power converter creates too much noise for the AM band to be usable" and now Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Clay&Buck, and others no longer threaten the CCP domination of the world, since nobody can listen to them while driving any more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The lack of features as a feature

        While it will be great to drive down the cruft in US market cars that is driving cost to absurd new highs, I am expecting that if the Chinese brands show up in the US we will see a wave of problems that have nothing to do with owners disappointment in missing comfort features or nation state actions.

        The US EV migration dosen't need the market flooded with cheap landfill material, with the same grade of charge controllers in the scooters and hoverboards that are constantly blowing up, but now with a couple hundred miles and thousand pounds of likely sub-par batteries. That will be a problem for people that drive them over the land borders too.

        So while I am fine with the US blocking imports until the software/firmware can be locked down or replaced, they also need to set rock solid safety standards that will carry past the initial warranty, and that the Chinese EVs won't be clogging up our landfills in 2-3 years.

        Sadly, those parts will probably be left out because protectionism and placing a shadow sanction on China is more likely the primary motive here.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: The lack of features as a feature

          EV migration does not need to happen, nor will it. People will just fix up OLD cars - JUST! LIKE! CUBA!!!

          (and I do not want to live in a place like CUBA, nor does anyone else, so there will never BE an "EV migration")

    3. Sub 20 Pilot

      The morons that run the US, much like the fucking idiot looking to have another go at it, are just running protectionist scams to keep China at bay. What would they do if the rest of the world said the same about US cars and all their other tech. After all it isn't as though they haven't been caught out spying on their ''allies'' is it.

      One day China will bite back and it will hurt you fuckers the most and to be honest you deserve it. (US, not you personally.)

      The west has thrived by expoliting the Chinese slave economy for as long as they could, now they see it as a threat they are running scared and claiming that everything is a threat, even though nothing in any Chinese tech is any different to the stuff they sell on to their so called allies. Fucking hypocrites and parasites.

      1. Phlegm

        Ok, Winnie-The-Pooh, whatever you say.

    4. jmch Silver badge

      " conduct an investigation into connected vehicles with technology from countries of concern"

      ...as you imply, all connected cars should be subject to the same safeguards

      "Why restrict it to Chinese connected cars?"

      It's election year!

  2. amajadedcynicaloldfart
    Facepalm

    Are the United States

    so insecure that everywhere they look they see a threat to "National Security?

    Well, here is another one. Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up...

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-67662779

    1. mtp

      Re: Are the United States

      If you cant beat them then ban them - just think up a plausible reason for the ban such as the perpetual classics of 'just think of the children' and 'national security'.

    2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Are the United States

      China is trying to gain a military advantage over the U.S. with almost everything you can imagine. AI, medicines, customs CT scanning machines, telecom equipment, TikTok, satellites and yes, even cars.

      The goal is to intimidate the U.S. to prevent it from intervening when they invade Taiwan. China will then claim this as the defining moment of the beginning of their world hegemony having defeated the U.S.

      The U.S. is doing EVERYTHING in its power to prevent this scenario from becoming a reality and this will mean the complete decoupling with the Chinese economy by all Western nations. As time marches on the U.S. will slowly but surely strangle China economically.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are the United States

        Current estimates puts the Chinese economy becoming the largest in the world sometime between 2028 and 2036...

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: Are the United States

          China has a ludicrous demographic crisis coming to a head in the next decade and an economy propped up by its construction sector ( 30% of GDP ) - a sector that is immolating as we speak.

          That's why China is getting more aggressive with Taiwan - it wants to achieve its military objectives before its ability to fund it collapses.

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Are the United States

            Arguably, it's already having that crisis. Major problems with huge quantities of graduates promised good jobs and nowhere to go; and a lot of those people aware of different systems of government that offer so much more.

            US and Western World generically probably need to be on the supporting side of revolution there, rather than the rabbit hole of an ever-tighter iron fist being closed on them.

            We have our problems and disagreements on how we govern locally, but none on the scale of the grievances the CCP should be on the recieving end of...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          China's economic figures are a work of science fiction

          But the fact it is huge is more akin to Alaska being the largest state. Lots of internal population really skews the trade numbers, and they are hugely sensitive to their global trade balance.

          China has been managing it's long goodby the US markets, but it is incredibly arrogant(not alone in that to be sure) and want's the world to continue to pour ever increasing amounts of money into their economy at the same time it exploits them and threatens once again attempting to eat it neighbors, take whatever it wants in terms of resources outside it's exclusive economic zone, etc.

          So as long as it Insists in alienating the mid-east via rampant racist, Islamophobic, and genocidal oppression, the far east by trade and territorial conflicts, expansionist adventures in myanmar, and the imminent threat of invading Taiwan, and supporting unrest while dumping cheap toxic goods in Africa they have chosen what happens next.

          Xi's ego and tyranny will continue drive the world away as China people suffer from the collapse of a fraud based economy that happened under his watch. So there will be more internal crackdowns, slowing any hope of an internal recovery, and as foreign investment is blocked or turns away. Which was always the expect outcome as long as the international markets stick to traditional globalism.

          China is now expensive, and the globalists are moving on. China could and has tried to play along, but it's actions gave full justification for squeezing out their attempts to set up shop in cheaper markets themselves. Xi and the central party keep blowing their internal economic pivot, and they may have run out of second chances. This won't in itself destroy the regime or the nation, but it will probably end their narcissistic ambition. I also expect this fall will have more to do with the their own mistakes catching up with them, and the alienation of the broader world than US action. Not that the US isn't and won't continue to try. They just don't have the leverage. Xi can and is hurting China worse than the US ever could.

          Of course Biden should be paying more attention to that lesson, as both the US and China seem to be in a contest to see who can fall on their face harder.

        3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: Are the United States

          Too bad having the largest economy doesn't make you a superpower let alone the leading world power.

          I doubt China will even attain the crown of the largest economy if the West decouples from it.

        4. Chet Mannly

          Re: Are the United States

          That was the view a while back. Actually current estimates have it peaking below the size of the US. Mainly due to falling population. It is predicted to peak lower, and age faster, than before. Plus of course the real/estate construction industry declining faster than anticipated.

          Still a very big economy obviously.

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Are the United States

          (RE: China becoming world's biggest economy)

          All done with slave and child labor, grossly underpaid employees, totalitarian control, unfair international trade practices, and [specifically] theft of intellectual property [which I have seen clear examples of]

          (under communism there is *NO* *REAL* *INNOVATION* - because the nail that STICKS UP gets THE HAMMER!)

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Are the United States

            Of course China steals IP. You think we don't? This is how industrialisation works!

            China has an abundant supply of PHds; certainly a very large proportion of papers published are coming from there or from Chinese working abroad. I have lost count of how many times I have been approached to peer review.

            The quantity and quality have both been strong causes for push back on reviewers, who cannot keep up with the former and have severe reservations about the latter. But if one out of one hundred is actually useful, that's a considerable return on investment.

            In academic space China's main problem is that those PHd grads are often going back to the motherland with no job to go to. And they are rightly pissed off about it.

      2. Sub 20 Pilot

        Re: Are the United States

        And you think the US is not doing exactly the same ? Time that bloody nation got slapped down and told to behave,

      3. Ideasource Bronze badge

        Re: Are the United States

        Lol,

        that were the case for the US wouldn't be reacting as if they were losing and therefore needed to take exceptional actions against.

        You can tell who perceives themselves the most insecure by how hard they flail against their perceived fears.

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: Are the United States

          I believe the U.S. (and the West in general) will prevail.

          I'm already cueing that Queen song on my CD player: "Another one bites the dust!"

          "...And another one down! And another one down! Another one bites the dust!!...."

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Are the United States

      Well, sure. Everything the Feds don't like is a threat to National Security, because that's currently the altar at which they worship. It's the same reason why we've been in a continuous state of National Emergency since the 1970s (for various overlapping specific "emergencies"). They just keep emerging!

      That doesn't mean none of these things are, in fact, threats to National Security, particularly if the latter is defined broadly.

  3. Jonathon Green

    I like Americans.

    They’re funny!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like Americans.

      I wonder why you were down voted?

      Was it someone who objects to you finding Americans funny?

      Was it someone who disagrees that Americans are funny?

      Was it someone from another part of the American continent taking offense that they are being lumped together with USAians?

      I'm going to lose seconds of sleep over this whilst at work today.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: I like Americans.

        But americans ARE funny! I mean, just look at the long list of enthusiastic readers of the National Enquirer that don't get the joke!

        I do spend an awful lot of holiday time travelling left-pondian, we do love you for all of your quirks and orange politicians.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: I like Americans.

        Maybe it was the generalization? Many of us are funny, but some of us are, alas, Fox News hosts.

        1. Ideasource Bronze badge

          Re: I like Americans.

          Fox News anchors pretty funny too.

          It looks like it's over the top dry satire something akin to Monty Python, but they seem to actually believe it.

          That's hilarious.

          The gathering of fools as they expound on their own foolishness.

          Quite the show.

          There's no shortage of entertainment in American politics.

          It's a place where reality is not recognized and so anything goes.

          It really is a shame they don't apply their flair for dramatic fiction to fantasy literature.

          Operating in a more appropriate sector they might become best sellers and acclaimed authors

    2. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: I like Americans.

      "I like Americans.

      They’re funny!"

      But you guys have The Knights That Go Nyet.

  4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    "issued an advanced notice". Surely a simple notice is all that's required. It's all that's needed if you intend to issue an advance notice.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Hey, our new advanced notices are 40% more efficient than the old notices.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

    Person A advertises their nearly new Jaguar for sale.

    Person B turns up and buys the car......private sale.......no problems.

    Later, Person B takes the Jaguar to a dealer for maintenance.

    Huge row......."We cannot do the work. You, Person B, are not the Jaguar-registered owner."

    More rows......Jaguar-central tell Person B that the ownership transfer, and by implication the sale, could ONLY BE DONE BY A JAGUAR DEALER.

    Person A in the mean time is still getting regular messaging from Jaguar about the long gone Jaguar.

    And, of course, this story takes ABSOLUTELY NO ACCOUNT of all the "phoning home" being done by the vehicle in the mean time.....all that "phoning home" in the name of Person A!!!!!

    *** To get to the point -- ANY CAR BUILT ANYWHERE IN THE LAST FEW YEARS IS PHONING HOME 24/7......GPS position, speed, number of occupants, interior video, exterior video....who knows?

    *** It's anyone's guess who is listing in to this vehicle "phoning home" ..... but the Chinese authorities would be way down my list!! Further up would be Jaguar-central...then NSA, the FBI, GCHQ......and other Five Ears folk!!!!

    Quote (William Burroughs): "The paranoid is a person who knows a little of what is going on."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

      Thank goodness for my lovely Morris 1000 Traveller!!!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        Fortunately we have a wide ranging national security plan to prevent this - known as Canadian cell phone coverage

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        Morris 1000 Traveller

        One of the few cars that can fail their MOT due to woodworm rather than wireworm..

        (Ours is a 1966 2-door saloon - currently listing slightly to the left at the front because it's parked slightly nose-down to the left and the suspension bushes have compressed..)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

          currently listing slightly to the left at the front because it's parked slightly nose-down to the left and the suspension bushes have compressed..

          Suspension bushes? Moggies use torsion-bar suspension and lever-arm shocks at the front, and an uneven height like that is more likely to be a failing torsion bar or worn lower suspension arm, where the pivot has seized due to lack of grease and the mounting hole is starting to wear oval. Next event in that case is the front wheel bouncing off down the road ahead of you as the car slumps into the ditch.

      3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        Thank goodness for my lovely Morris 1000 Traveller!!!

        Or as Edna Everage so wonderfully described it, a half-timbered car.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

      ....and for those of you who think the Jaguar story is fictional:

      - https://www.theregister.com/2018/07/27/jaguar_land_rover_connected_car_privacy/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        I was able to transfer the ownership of my 2019 Jaguar I-Pace to the buyer very easily in June 2023.

        Things may have changed since that article was written.

    3. Julian 8 Silver badge

      Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

      I wanted a new 4K TV, nothing smart or anything else. Cannot find one and soon expect to see a message or two on the screen of the one I did get as I have not connected it to the wifi for it to phone home

      1. Marty McFly Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        I bought a Samsung TV and I refuse to agree to the Terms & Conditions. Every time it powers on, it prompts me to 'Approve'. Eventually it goes away and just displays HDMI 1 like it is supposed to.

        I am so turned off by this presumed privacy data slurp that all the rest of the TVs are LG. Still only connected to HDMI 1 and no "Smart" garbage enabled, and they sure the heck are NOT on my network.

      2. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

        The only answer to that is to get a monitor and feed it signals from external devices. I haven't made such a switch myself but it has definitely crossed my mind.

        A previous Samsung that I had generated nearly half of all requests on my local network. Good TV ruined by excessive monitoring phone home. (It also failed after the warranty period expired, not worth trying to fix).

    4. EthiczGradient

      Re: Who Is Listening In To Cars Phoning Home???......

      To be fair. If you buy a jaguar by choice you deserve all the punishment

  6. ITS Retired

    There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

    that does not serve to enhance safety. In fact can be a distraction from any attempted safety features.

    The distracting beeping and flashing RED warnings of eminent crashes, AFTER the driver has already recognized, and is reacting to the situation.

    Like when you are in the outside lane and the vehicle, ahead is you is in the inside lane, puts on their left turn signal and slows down to make a left hand turn and you are warned of an imminent, major crash when there is no possibility of such.

    On a related note, the unrelenting e-mails and snail-mail from Sirius wanting you to pay $19.95 a month for their music, when you already have an AM/FM radio with HD radio in your vehicle. Plus being able to plug in your own music for free. They can't seem to understand "NO!", to well past the point of making it hard to drop their 'service', should you be suckered in.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

      Driving SWMBO's today. It has forward pointing cameras looking for white lines & so forth. Country road with no foortpath but no traffic. A dog walker on the left verge. Pull over to giver them a wide berth. Flashing warnings on the dash. At least it wasn't "smart" enough to try to take over the steering.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

        It has forward pointing cameras

        What happens if the mud or a wasp blocks the camera?

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

          Your dashboard lights up with warnings about Front Assist system problems. Happens every time it snows...

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

          Once in Central Cali-Fornicate-You, on I-5, in the summer, farmland all around, I hit a swarm of bugs in the middle of the night that COATED my windshield.

          Wipers and fluid kept me seeing long enough to get past the swarm and keep going. But do forward cameras have wipers and washer fluid?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is way too much 'Because they can' in todays vehicles,

      you are warned of an imminent, major crash when there is no possibility of such.

      That sounds like it's confused about which side of the road it's supposed to be driving on.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long live dumb cars!

    Mine’s as stupid as an ox when it comes to the Inter-Tubes.

    Big smile.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Long live dumb cars!

      Mine’s as stupid as an ox when it comes to the Inter-Tubes.

      The Morris barely has electrics, let alone electronics..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and American cars are a threat to every other country in the world, although they are such poor quality, most of the rest of the world doesn't want them anyway!

    How about "American" cars built in China like Tesla?

    Or Apple watches, "Made in China"

    etc, are all of these threats to the USA too?

    You already banned their superior Huawei phones and network gear.

    What else are you afraid of Joe?

    Such hypocrites, everyone knows you just want American tech with all its built in spying capabilities everywhere in the world, and Chinese gear doesn't give the CIA/NSA/FBI that capability.

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      "Chinese gear doesn't give the CIA/NSA/FBI that capability."

      Exactly!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ford has pretty good international sales. Buick does pretty good business in China. The company now known as Stellantis owns a few European brands like Fiat etc.

      Someone other than Americans are buying in high enough volumes to warrant international ventures.

    3. HausWolf

      -Such hypocrites, everyone knows you just want American tech with all its built in spying capabilities everywhere in the world, and Chinese gear doesn't give the CIA/NSA/FBI that capability.-

      No, the Chinese gear just openly phones home. Just like when I disabled the phone home ability of the companies NVR system and a whole slew of capabilities just did not function.

      While I am under no illusion about the USA spying, at least they don't appear as malevolent as the CCP and disappear whole groups of people and the Social Credit system has yet to make an appearance.

  9. biddibiddibiddibiddi

    Closing the barn door before the horse gets out? Who is that and what have they done with our government?!

  10. Professor_Iron

    If the Chinese brands export to the European market I assume they also have GDPR-compliant version of their software?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely, Comrade. We promise.

    2. munnoch Bronze badge

      If???

      They are already here, Geely in the form of Volvo and Polestar. MG of course, that auspicious British brand of sports cars ... And BYD are making their presence known.

      Of course the American's proposed ban is purely economic. And why shouldn't it be? These guys are going to decimate all other manufacturers by undercutting because majority of consumers are driven solely by price. If a Skoda or a Dacia is good enough then a BYD will be too.

      Chinese car manufacturers have terrible ratings when it comes to supply chain sustainability. Highly ironic when you consider that we are being urged to buy BEV's in order to save the planet. Just not the bits of the planet where the yummy resources live...

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        These days a Skoda is a VW under the covers, just like an Audi is. The only real difference is a few more pennies spent on the quality of the interior plastics and fabrics for the VW and Audi. A Dacia isn't quite at that level, it's more like last-year's model Renault, but with fewer gadgets. Makes it quite appealing, more chance that the electrical bugs will have been worked out & fewer silly gadgets to get in the driver's way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          These days...

          These days a Skoda is a VW under the covers only with better software

          There fixed it for you.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: These days...

            only with better software

            Sorry, not the current models, they have same crap software as VW & Audi.

            They do have real knobs for some things which are touchscreen-only on the "upmarket" VWs, which is another plus.

        2. Binraider Silver badge
          Flame

          The Audi badge does also come with a feature that seems to eliminate the brain cells of many of their owners, at least as far as driving skills are concerned...

          Apologies to (the few) competent Audi drivers but if you watch a couple of episodes of the hilarious "London Dash Cam" you will agree with the more than anecdotal evidence of this being the case.

          I'm a sucker for Japanese sports cars and/or pre 1990's British Ultralights so major concerns with electronics phone home in such things. Flakey mechanical designs are another matter of course. Especially on the latter.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Geely seem to be selling quite a few Volvos in the US too. The subhead's "No Chinese automakers sell cars in the US" statement is rather hair-splitting. If we have "US automakers" selling cars in the US that are manufactured in China, and we have "European automakers" owned by Chinese firms selling cars in the US, then surely we're pretty close to having "Chinese automakers" selling cars in the US.

        I mean, I'm not personally terribly exercised by all of this; I won't buy a new car, and the danger of Evil Chinese Cars on the highways and byways is pretty far down in my threat model. But for anyone who thinks it is a danger, I don't think that claim about "no Chinese automakers" is any consolation.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our company car provisions have largely conspired to make EVs just about the only option. I don’t fancy conversations happening in our company vehicles being known elsewhere.

    Refers the Intel to cyber sec division…

  12. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    No the real enemy of the American people are the ceos who are today and in the past selling everything they can to CHina for the past 40 years.

    They should all be put in jail for treason, because without them China would be a dot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Treason" -- It's A Point-Of-View Thing...................

      @CowHorseFrog

      Well.....maybe.........

      But then again, those CEO types have been getting the Chinese to build stuff REALLY CHEAPLY.

      Those CEO types have been selling said stuff to the American people....and making out like bandits (for reference, there's a cetain company in Cupertino.....).

      Oh......and said stuff would have been MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE if it had been made in the good old USA, so maybe US citizens have actually got a break.

      I guess it depends on your definition of "treason".......................

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      There's a reason Ford's assembly lines in Detroit were moved to Mexico. Antiquated factories, high redevelopment and relatively high labour costs. It is no different concerning Apple and it's largely Chinese supply chain.

      Do you want cheap or home-sourced? Make your mind up!

      1. munnoch Bronze badge

        Indeed -- the choice is, if you want a job with a predictable income i.e. not gig work, then stop buying cheap disposable consumer tat.

      2. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
        Alert

        Well, there is the tiny little difference between US/Mexico and US/China relationships (bad hombres notwithstanding)

        If a country has been flagged as a danger by the US goverment for decades[1] then it shirley should have been a bad idea for US companies to send billions of dollars and tonnes of IP to that same country.

        There is some real dissonance there between what policy and economics are doing. Not that this surprises anyone.

        [1] I am not getting into the argument of whether US accusations are true. For the sake of this argument I am just going with what the goverment itself says.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Exactly.

          There has been a cold war with China for at least 10 years, people got hung for doing a lot less trade with Axis Germany or Axis Japan in WW2, and yet American management have been actively sending more and more technology, equipment, knowlwege and so on to the enemy.

      3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Thats bogus, management have been sending jobs to mexico so they can give themselves bigger bonuses.

        The real problem is there are too many types in all companies that want bigger rewards when the reality is they contribute nothing to the end product or service. If Ford fired 99% of their management, creative types, and all the other suits they could have kept production lines in America and all would be well.

        If everyone moves jobs overseas, nobody in AMerica will have money to buy any Fords in America.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not new just worse

    I bought a used (2015) BMW in 2017. (used so the optional indicators weren't my choice).

    Sales fool proudly talked up the connected features.

    My first question was - can I turn them off. And the answer was no.

    The data collection then was minimal but still likely included GPS and driving information.

    The connection volume in newer cars is really quite scary.

    However I hate the new touch screenery in new cars anyway and think it's dangerous. Plus my mileage is down so I now drive an older, dumber but more intersting motor.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: can I turn them off

      Somewhere in the car there must be a SIM Card. Who is paying the bill for it? Would BMW complain if you found it and removed it? Probably not.

      1. Xalran

        Re: can I turn them off

        It's embeded deeply in the car control unit ( you know that not so little black box that controls everything in the car and can't be opened ).

        As for the minimal, it's minimal due to :

        - the number of SIMs

        - the usage

        It's on the order 1 to 5 Euros per year per SIM card. Many Car Constructor uses Telecom Network IaaS provided by Telecom Equipment Vendors or Major Telecom Operators.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: can I turn them off

        Somewhere in the car there must be a SIM Card

        These days it's an embedded SIM - pure software, no physical card.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not new just worse

      So....there must be a physical aerial (or two or three) somewhere in the vehicle.

      If the SIM cannot be disabled, pehaps the aerial(s) can!!!!

      1. Xalran

        Re: Not new just worse

        If it's not embeded as a printed circuit in the black box that controls everything, it's one of the many wire that comes out of it and go to various locations in the car...

  15. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Excuse

    This is just an excuse to limit the import of Chinese EV's, which I think is a good idea. But why beat around the bush? Why not just impose huge tariffs or outright ban the import of Chinese cars? China hasn't exactly abided by the WTO rules either, you know.

    The car industry is simply too important to cede to the Chinese.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Excuse

      Chinese cars are not cheap because Chinese industry is super-efficient. Whatever the globalists say. They are cheaper because labour costs are low, due to the poverty of the workforce, and the poor employment rights. Parts are cheaper, as the raw materials and processes can be provided without regard to the environment. And the energy costs are almost zero, being provided by subsidised coal-fired power stations.

      So, we are simply outsourcing our worker-oppression and pollution to China, and we should recognise that in our tariffs.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Excuse

        You forgot the real reason why Chinese products are cheap. Human labour and human rights costs money, china is basically sacrificing the well being of its citizens to produce crap for money.

  16. Tron Silver badge

    Hilarious.

    So, folk don't want EVs or other green transition tech that is made in China. They don't want solar farms, pylons or turbines because they spoil the view.

    Our picky, picky species stands zero chance of mitigating or surviving climate change if it runs with the 'nation state' tribal model, as it is now doing, and values the view over having reliable mains power.

    That's to say, our species deserves its inevitable, premature extinction. Bring your kids up to be tough cookies, because the soft ones really won't cope with what is coming soon. The power going off and the food rations are coming sooner than you think, and will just be the start.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Hilarious.

      I would hazard a guess there will be war before the realities of what change is really needed sets in.

      Independence from actively hostile powers puts a measure of control on their ability to cause wars. Ergo it's a good thing.

      Similarly, the best argument for deploying Wind, Nuke, Solar etc. is that it gets us off the haemorraging of cash to states hardly tolerant of our culture!

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Hilarious.

      What makes you think EVs are green ?

      Do you have actual scientific proof they are green or are you repeating stuff like a parrot ?

  17. EthiczGradient

    IoT as a whole

    Food is a critical resources so I am surprised that the IoT devices monitoring all food transport in the West are chinese monitors. Some of them have western brands but they basically come out of the same few factories. If the Chinese government was nefarious enough they could easily have these devices send bad data that can have billions of dollars of damage. It really is that easy

  18. MrHuggy

    So here I am worrying that Chinese made cars might be used to spy on people. Writing it out on a chinese made laptop using the wifi from my chinese made phone, yet I'm not worried at all that the manufacture's of those haven't been compromised and using them to spy on me.

    This fear mongering happens time and time again and time and time again turns out it was false. If they fear cheap cars from China well make cheap cars in the US then China cars would be less competitive. Ford, Tesla and GM are or in the case of GM was working on a low cost (sub 25K) electric car platform in a couple of years a lot of manufactures will be on the back foot yet again.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Western manufacturers simply can't compete with the cheap labour, lax environmental regs, subsidised resources and cheap coal-based power available to Chinese factories.

      The CCP really is the ultimate loss-leader, subsidising it's own industries to drive the rest of the world out of business until everything is made in China and only in China. No need for wars or invasions. They'll already control everything.

      And we're actively ceding more and more of that control to them every day by continuing to outsource more and more production, while tying our domestic manufacturing in ever-tightening environmental knots.

      Not saying there shouldn't be environmental protections. Just saying we might be going too far, and playing into the hands of the CCP who really don't give two shits about environmental damage. They say they do. Their actions say otherwise.

  19. Bbuckley

    Strange how everything made in China is a potential threat, apart from iPhones?

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Its strange that a device that can actually see all your emails, spy on all your messages about work or personal matters, and also capture all your passwords to bank accounts and other similar things is fine to be made in china, but a car which can only spy on where you drive around is the problem.

  20. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Big Brother

    OId man yells at cloud

    "In a statement this morning, the US President said the fact that most modern automobiles are "like smartphones on wheels" meant cars made in China and sold in the US could collect sensitive data, transmit it overseas and even be remotely accessed or disabled."

    As opposed to domestic made cars which collect sensitive data, and transmit it overs seas and can be remotely accessed in disabled.

  21. Phiphi in SoCal

    Targeting data

    Connected car metadata is a wonderful tool for identifying targets of any kind of warfare.

    From it you can locate centers of wealth, population density, and infrastructure.

    It promotes cost effective strikes.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Targeting data

      Pretty sure these days you can just look at Google maps to figure that out. Look for a prevalence of large houses with swimming pools, for instance. No hacked (or freely given) telemetry needed.

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Targeting data

      If you are so fucking dumb you cant find military bases from satellite maps, how could you possibly have the brains to process datasets from car movements to have any meaning ?

      Most people are not military targets of any kind, what possibly military value is there in knowing a million peple drive from home to some office somewhere else ?

  22. Ryan D

    Volvo?

    Does Volvo now qualify as Chinese?

    If so, when will other nations fall under this type of thing? Just thinking how odd it would be to have players like Tata or what not under suspicion considering the impact of their brands globally.

  23. charlieboywoof

    err, says?

    he doesn't know what day it is

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