Another Apple employee has been caught stealing trade secrets

02 February, 2019, 13:07 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Chinese worker allegedly caught stealing Apple self-driving car secrets

A second Apple engineer has been arrested by the Feds for allegedly stealing copies of the tech giant's self-driving Vehicle blueprints.

The investigation into Jizhong Chen began when an employee said he saw the engineer snapping photos in a "sensitive workspace", according to a local San Francisco-area NBC affiliate which first reported the news.

When questioned, Chen didn't tell Apple he had applied for a job with a China-based autonomous vehicle company, according to the complaint.

Chen, an electrical engineer, was hired by Apple in June of past year to be part of a hardware design team working on a self-driving vehicle project at Apple, FBI special agent Adelaida Hernandez said in the filing. Instead, the worker claimed to be leaving the country to visit family rather than fleeing the U.S. with the secrets. Chen was allegedly found to have backed up in his personal computer more than 2,000 files, including manuals and diagrams that are trade secrets. A photo found on Chen's computer, which Apple provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, showed an assembly drawing of an Apple-designed wiring harness for an autonomous vehicle. Apple confirmed the secret files had been discovered before Chen had even been placed on the PIP.

"Apple takes confidentiality and the protection of our IP very seriously", the company said in a statement.

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In December, Chen was put on notice by Apple that his work performance needed to improve.

In July 2018, Zhang Xiaolong, who was hired by Apple to develop software and hardware for the company's autonomous vehicle project, was accused by US authorities of downloading data, including a blueprint for a circuit board used in self-driving cars, with the intention of transferring it to China.

Chen was arrested a day before he was scheduled to take off for China and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and is liable to pay a maximum fine of $250,000. All of the information that was about to be stolen is regarding the supposed self-driving auto that we have been hearing on and off about over the past couple of years.

Zhang was arrested at the San Jose International Airport while attempting to board a flight to Beijing.



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