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'It might raise national security issues': Start-up warns China may not welcome foreign driverless tech

  • Foreign driverless technology companies may find it tough in China, according to Chinese start-up Pony.ai

Foreign companies offering driverless technology may not do so well in China, the world's largest electric vehicle market.

"If foreign companies want to install autonomous driving systems in domestic cars, it might raise national security issues," said Harry Hu, chief operating officer and acting chief financial officer at Pony.ai, a start-up focused on artificial intelligence solutions for self-driving cars.

"That's why it gives us a chance to use our technology on domestic cars," Hu said on the sidelines of the Morgan Stanley Tech, Media & Telecom conference in Beijing.

Pony.ai, based in both the U.S. and China, is currently testing 20 cars in an area of 12 square kilometers near the Tesla factory in Silicon Valley. Soon, similar tests will be done in Guangzhou, where local authorities have given the firm a 30 square kilometer area for trials, Hu said.