DOJ Alleges Former Apple Engineer Stole Self-Driving Code For Chinese Company

DOJ Alleges Former Apple Engineer Stole Self-Driving Code For Chinese Company

Today’s daily dose of “China stealing intellectual property” news comes to us courtesy of the Department of Justice, who has charged that a former Apple software engineer tried to steal the Cupertino-based company’s autonomous driving technology for a Chinese self-driving company.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Weibao Wang, who worked at Apple from 2016 to 2018 on the company’s Annotation Team, is being charged with six counts of theft of Apple’s “entire autonomy source code,” tracking systems, behavior planning for autonomous systems, and descriptions of the hardware used, according to CNBC

Wang reportedly had “broad access” to databases that the DOJ said could only be accessed by 2,700 of Apple’s 135,000 employees. 

The indictment details that four months before quitting Apple, Wang had accepted a new job at a U.S. based subsidiary of a Chinese company that was developing autonomous driving technology. Wang started to port over “large amounts” of Apple’s technology and source code, it says.

At the time, only 5% of Apple employees even knew about the project and even fewer (2%) had access to one or more of the databases that Wang used to ascertain the information he allegedly stole. 

The report says that when authorities searched Wang’s home in 2018, they found “large quantities of stolen, confidential, and proprietary data”. After the search warrant was executed, Wang fled the country, boarding a flight to Guangzhou, China from San Francisco International Airport, CNBC reported.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Ismail Ramsey has said he faces 10 years in prison for each count, should he ever be extradited and convicted. We won’t hold our breath for that. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/17/2023 – 21:20
Source: Zero Hedge News

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