Former Apple employee charged with criminal theft of autonomous vehicle secrets

“U.S. authorities on Monday charged a former Apple Inc employee with theft of trade secrets, alleging that the person downloaded a secret blueprint related to a self-driving car to a personal laptop and later trying to flee the country, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters.

“The complaint said that the former employee, Xiaolang Zhang, disclosed intentions to work for a Chinese self-driving car startup and booked a last-minute flight to China after downloading the plan for a circuit board for the self-driving car,” Nellis reports. “Authorities arrested Zhang on July 7 at the San Jose airport after he passed through a security checkpoint.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Xiaolang Zhang, who joined Apple in December 2015, designed and tested circuit boards to analyze sensor data,” Kadhim Shubber reports for The Financial Times.

“The complaint alleged that Mr. Zhang took parental leave in April 2018 and traveled with his family to China,” Shubber reports. “When he returned later that month, the filing said he told Apple he would be resigning and moving back to China, where he intended to take a job with Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric car start-up with offices in Guangzhou and Palo Alto, California.”

Shubber reports, “‘Apple takes confidentiality and the protection of our intellectual property very seriously,’ an Apple spokesperson said. ‘We’re working with authorities on this matter and will do everything possible to make sure this individual and any other individuals involved are held accountable for their actions.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In this case, red flags abound.


    1. I am the Chinese applecynic clone, I have stolen his IP and I P all over his intellectual property with internally recycled tea.

      I make scullions from the applechynic name in China, I am the leader in true cynicism, the American Yankee applecynic is now but a poor, sad, tampon munching imitation. It’s sad.

      Very sad.

  1. I’m shocked! SHOCKED I tell you!
    Seriously. You may be welcomed with open arms by a new employer that covets secrets from a competitor, but you will never by trusted by that employer. More likely you’ll shunted to the basement for brainless drudgery until they come up with a reason to fire your duplicitous ass.

  2. I thought China had these brilliant born children who worked in the fields whose numbers 5000 engineers daily for work in technology builders in China. Yet some individuals have to steal designs from a American company and try to start up in China and doesn’t this sound like our complaints in our trade agreements.

    1. Trondud shows his true colors, fights to the MC after all and never the end users.

      Apple getting the uck out of China would mean prices going through the roof, anything you want to do to uck China would have to be done subtly.

      To just monster in like a dudlephant in a China shop is too stupid to warrant any more than a casual response telling you that you are truly one heck of a massive, gobsmacking dud.

      Uck China for sure, but do it smart, not like you would do it, the dumb way. Otherwise you end up a real trondud.

      1. You must be Chinese because you cannot spell for shit. I’d pay 3K for an iPhone if it meant the Apple would get the fuck out of scumsucker China. Just a bunch of thrives in that commie country.

  3. I’d happily trade Apple secrets for squillion in China cash. I’m happy to tamp on the China cash tap and tamp it off.

    I’m cynical like that. Not loyal to anything except cynical cash and my own inflated sense of self and importance.

    That’s why I’m the unregistered applecynic(TM)(SM)(R)(C).

    Eff anyone that doesn’t like it. You too, AC. You elfin’ too.

  4. Chances are, the stolen IP was already zipped and sent to Xiaopeng Motors via the internet before Xiaolang Zhang went to the airport. Once the data leaves the server and/or facility, you have to assume the worst.

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