Consumers in China want connected cars but lack cybersecurity awareness

Via Irdeto Press Releases

Dec 6, 2017

New global survey by Irdeto finds that 67% of consumers in China own a connected car or have plans to purchase one in the future, but many are unaware of cyberattack potential

BEIJING - 05 December 2017 - A new survey by Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform security, found that 67% of consumers in China either already own a connected car or have plans to buy one in the future. This is considerably higher than the global average* of 40%. However, the Irdeto Global Consumer Connected Car Survey also indicated an overall lack of awareness of cybersecurity threats, with only 77% of Chinese consumers believing that a connected car has the potential to be targeted by a cyberattack, compared to the global average of 85%.

Consumers in China who already own connected cars** were found to be much more aware of the dangers than those who do not. The survey found that 83% of Chinese consumers who already own a connected car are concerned about cyberattacks. This is a significantly higher percentage compared to the global average of 59%. In light of this, OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers need to be ready to address these cybersecurity concerns to capture China’s current and growing appetite for connected cars.

Respondents in China who intend to purchase a car displayed the highest likelihood (71%) of researching a car’s ability to protect itself against a cyberattack, compared to the global average of 53%. This indicates that cybersecurity will be a key factor for many consumers in China when purchasing their next vehicle. OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers will need to make security a priority so that they are not perceived as a brand that does not take cybersecurity seriously.

“These findings demonstrate a demand for in-car connectivity from consumers in China, however this needs to be matched by robust security measures to protect against cyberattacks,” said Chen Qi, Senior Director of Government Relations and Business Development, Irdeto. “Consumer education of cybersecurity risks is a must. By implementing a security in-depth approach across the vehicle lifecycle, right from manufacturing to vehicle service, automakers will not only stay one step ahead of hackers, but show consumers that they are committed to their safety.”

Although 83% of connected car owners** in China are concerned about hacking, it is not the only type of future automobile that they perceive as being a target of hackers. Chinese consumers overall are also concerned that autonomous vehicles could be hacked, giving someone without permission the ability to unlock the car to steal it and/or personal belongings in the car (47%); giving someone without permission the ability to control certain functions of the car (44%); and giving someone without permission the ability to drive it remotely (42%). Only 7% stated that they do not have any cybersecurity concerns about buying an autonomous vehicle.

“Customers today may not understand the depth and breadth of connected car capabilities, but they are cognizant of in-vehicle security. OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers need to formulate a multi-layered, defense in-depth cybersecurity strategy that includes a secure, tamper-proof environment for vehicle software,” said Daniel Thunberg, Global Head, Connected Transport, Irdeto. “As cars continually incorporate more software and become more connected and autonomous, they open up more vulnerabilities and points of entry for hackers to launch a cyberattack. The brands that commit to cybersecurity to ensure the safety of customers will prevail.”

To help OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers guard against cyberattacks targeting connected cars, Cloakware™ for Connected Transport provides a comprehensive solution that combines innovative, patented technologies and cybercrime services to address a variety of security challenges in a car. It also includes strong anti-hacking protection with renewable security that protects against reverse engineering of vehicle software.

Click here to download the full report on the survey results:


*based on respondents from Canada, United States, China, Japan, UK, and Germany

**based on 47 respondents who currently own a connected car in China

The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted online by YouGov from October 27th, 2017 – November 1st, 2017. Total sample size was 1,007 Chinese adults (aged 18+). The figures have been weighted and are representative of the online population of adults in China (aged 18+).

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