Ex-Apple automotive engineer guilty of stealing trade secrets
(Reuters) – A former Apple automotive engineer has pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets related to the US tech giant’s burgeoning self-driving vehicle program, court documents released on Monday show.
Federal prosecutors say Xiaolang Zhang downloaded the blueprint for a circuit board of Apple’s self-driving system after revealing his intention to work for a Chinese startup in the industry and booking a last-minute flight to China.
He was arrested at San Jose airport after going through security.
Xiaolang Zhang, who initially pleaded not guilty, reached an agreement with prosecutors. The verdict will be announced next November.
The agreement was confirmed by Xiaolang Zhang’s lawyer, who declined to comment further.
Apple and the US Department of Justice could not be reached immediately.
Another former Apple engineer facing the same charges, Jizhong Chen, has pleaded not guilty. A hearing was scheduled for August 29.
(Report on Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; French version Jean Terzian)
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