Former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang has been arrested for stealing the firm’s self-driving car secrets.
Zhang had been working for Apple since 2015, developing hardware and software for the autonomous vehicle project.
However, he recently told his supervisor that he will be moving to China to work for Xiaopen Motors.
The supervisor warned Apple’s security team about the move.
The security team then found Zhang had downloaded secret databases and hardware from the company’s autonomous vehicle lab, as well as “copious pages of information”.
Following this, the FBI arrested Zhang at California San Jose airport on the 7 July 2018 for attempting to flee to China with trade secrets.
The FBI said the data stolen consisted of “engineering schematics, technical reference manuals, and technical reports”.
Apple said in a statement: “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.”
If found guilty, Zhang could face fines up to US$250,000 and be jailed for 10 years.
Written by Leah Alger