He was arrested in 2018 when he tried to leave the United States of America to flee to China. Now theformer engineer of the Apple Xiaolang Zhang faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Zhang pleaded guilty to the crime of industrial espionage. He was accused of stealing a file of more than 25 pages. File originating from car department from Apple, the mysterious Project Titan assignment to design a fully self-driving electric car. Among the material were also the schematics of some printed circuit boards. That is, to use CNBC’s words, “one of the most valuable secrets of any tech company”. The documents had been transferred to his wife’s personal laptop. But not only that, because the list of stolen equipment is longer: he had also stolen some prototype chips and a small server.
After initially pleading innocent, Zhang recently confessed to his guilt by striking a deal with the prosecutor. The agreement still has to be approved by the judge, the sentence is set for November 14. The dishonest engineer faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of more than $250,000.
Before Xiaolang Zhang tried to escape, he told his superiors that he would take some time off to visit his mother in China. But the truth was different: the engineer already had a job in the… xpeng, a Chinese company specializing in the production of electric vehicles. Recently, the Chinese carmaker presented the Xpeng G7, an electric SUV equipped with the X-Pilot 4.0 platform, a highly advanced software for semi-autonomous driving.
Source: Lega Nerd