A former Apple employee has been accused of stealing some self-driving technology that the company developed to sell to a Chinese self-driving car company.
According to Engadget software engineer, former Apple Weibao Wang has been charged by a court in the Northern District of California (USA) with stealing self-driving car technology secrets from the iPhone maker to sell outside. Wang started working at Apple in 2016 as part of a team that developed the hardware and software for self-driving systems — technology that Apple could bring to the self-driving cars it was developing
The indictment indicates that, in November 2017, Wang took a job at a subsidiary of a self-driving car developer from China but had to wait more than four months before notifying Apple that he was leaving. job. The US Justice Department said that after Wang left Apple in April 2018, the company discovered he “accessed a large amount of confidential and sensitive proprietary information” before leaving. Large amounts of data taken from Apple were found during a law enforcement search of Wang’s home in Mountain View in June of that year. Wang told agents that he was not planning to travel, but flew back to China that same night.
Wang has been charged with six counts of stealing or attempting to steal trade secrets. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each count. However, that depends on whether officials can extradite Wang to the US while he is still in China.
This is the third case of a former Apple employee being accused of stealing trade secrets of self-driving car technology to sell to Chinese businesses. Last year, Xiaolang Zhang – who worked at Apple at the same time as Wang – pleaded guilty to stealing technology from Apple’s car division. Zhang was arrested at San Jose International Airport in 2018 while trying to board a plane back to China.
In 2019, another former Apple employee, Jizhong Chen, was arrested before fleeing to China for allegedly stealing self-driving car technology from a Chinese company. Chen pleaded not guilty and the case is being heard in federal court