Chinese engineer accused of stealing Apple secrets for rival
The FBI is accusing the Chinese national of attempting to steal trade secrets for a rival Chinese self-driving car company.
SAN FRANCISCO — The FBI has accused a second Chinese Apple employee of trying to jack trade secrets from its autonomous car program, according to an unsealed affidavit.
NBC Bay Area reported that according to the affidavit filed on Jan. 22, Jizhong Chen was hired by Apple in June 2018 as a hardware developer engineer to the autonomous car project.
According to CNBC, Apple started to smell something fishy when an employee reported seeing Chen taking wide angled photographs in sensitive work spaces.
According to the complaint, Apple then allegedly asked to inspect Chen's personal devices, where they found he had backed up his work computer onto a personal hard drive.
According to the affidavit, Apple's review found around 100 photos taken inside Apple's autonomous vehicle building along with "over two thousand files containing confidential and proprietary Apple material, including manuals, schematics and diagrams."
According to the complaint, Chen had also just applied for a job at a China-based self-driving car company that is a direct competitor with Apple's project.
Chen was arrested a day before he was about to high tail it back to China. Our advice...lock him up and throw away the key.
According to NBC Bay Area, this is the second worker in six months to be accused by the FBI of stealing trade secrets from Apple's self-driving car division.
Last July, former Chinese Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang was also busted by the FBI for also trying to jack Apple's autonomous car secrets for another Chinese rival.
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