Another Chinese national accused of stealing Apple autonomous vehicle trade secrets

“For the second time in six months, the FBI is accusing a Chinese national working for Apple of attempting to steal trade secrets related to the company’s secret autonomous vehicle program, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit learned Tuesday,” Michael Bott reports for NBC Bay Area. “Apple began investigating Jizhong Chen when another employee reported seeing the engineer taking photographs in a sensitive work space, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed this week.”

“Chen, according to the complaint, allowed Apple Global Security employees to search his personal computer, where they found thousands of files containing Apple’s intellectual property, including manuals, schematics, and diagrams. Security personnel also found on the computer about a hundred photographs taken inside an Apple building,” Bott reports. “Apple learned Chen recently applied for a job at a China-based autonomous vehicle company that is a direct competitor of Apple’s project, according to the complaint. A photo found on Chen’s computer, which Apple provided to the FBI, showed an assembly drawing of an Apple-designed wiring harness for an autonomous vehicle.”

“Last July, former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang was arrested by federal agents for allegedly stealing proprietary information related to the company’s autonomous vehicle project,” Bott reports. “Zhang was accused of trying to bring Apple’s trade secrets to China-based XMotors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Seems like an avoidable problem.

Former Apple employee pleads not guilty in trade secret case – July 17, 2018
Former Apple engineer faces up to 10 years in jail, $250,000 fine over the theft of autonomous vehicle secrets – July 11, 2018
Criminal case reveals details of Apple’s self-driving car technology – July 11, 2018
China’s XMotors claims employee did not pass along Apple autonomous driving trade secrets – July 11, 2018
Former Apple employee charged with criminal theft of autonomous vehicle secrets – July 10, 2018

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Ladd Morse” for the heads up.]


  1. The Chinese are robbing us blind on intellectual property.

    To show how deep it goes, a guy was locked up for stealing secrets at a USDA/ University of Arkansas Rice research facility.

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