Former Apple employee arrested for stealing secrets for Chinese company
New Delhi : In breaking news, an Ex-Apple Inc. engineer was arrested on charges of stealing driverless car secrets for a Chinese start-up after he went through the security checkpoint at San Jose International Airport to board a flight to China.
Identified as Xiaolang Zhang, he was accused by U.S. prosecutors of downloading files containing proprietary information as he prepared to leave the iPhone maker in April and start work for Guangzhou-based Xiaopeng Motors, as per the criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in San Jose, California.
The accused was a hardware engineer for Apple’s autonomous vehicle development team. He was granted access to confidential company databases, according to the complaint. After he took paternity leave he told Apple in April he was moving back to China to work at Xmotors. Apple management grew suspicious after seeing his increased network activity and visits to the office before he resigned, according to the complaint.
For now, Zhang is held under the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he downloaded Apple driverless technology files to his wife’s laptop to have continued access to them, according to the complaint. He was arrested July 7.
The charges against Zhang echo civil claims that Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s driverless unit, levelled against Uber Technologies Inc. and engineer Anthony Levandowski. While the lawsuit settled, a criminal investigation of Levandowski’s alleged trade secret theft from Google remains unresolved.