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Earlier this month, a few social media users noticed that local police prevented Tesla vehicles from entering a highway in Guangzhou. This triggered rumors that Teslas were being specifically targeted by traffic authorities. The Guangzhou police issued a response to the rumors via its official Weibo account.
“We take normal temporary control measures for traffic flows according to the work needs of road traffic management, not for specific vehicle types,” the Guangzhou traffic police wrote in its post.
Later, an auto blogger in China shared snippets of an internal memo that was reportedly circulated within the Guangzhou police department, reported Global Times. The memo referred to a fleet arriving at an inspection site and instructed on-duty personnel of the brigade in all jurisdictions to conduct control measures on Tesla vehicles. It also stated that all vehicles were strictly forbidden from entering or approaching the guard route.
A few netizens suggested that the arriving fleet mentioned in the memo could have been referring to the high-level officials who visited the city recently.
Tesla China appears to have garnered some attention recently, which mirrors mainstream media (MSM) coverage of its counterpart in the United States. For example, at the recent Shanghai International Automotive Show, a woman stood on top of a Tesla vehicle, shouting, “Tesla brakes fail.” The demonstration has been linked to a protest against the Model 3 over its alleged brake issues.
Meanwhile, in the US, a Consumer Reports article tried to prove Tesla Autopilot was fallible through some questionable and imaginative means. A few Teslarati readers in Germany have also reported some coverage about Gigafactory Berlin that might be misleading as well.
The apparent resurgence of FUD may have lead to one retail investor submitting a question for Tesla to answer during the Q1 2021 earnings call. The investor asked the company whether it had any plans to deal with MSM’s “deceptive” articles about Tesla.