An ex-Apple engineer has been charged with stealing self-driving car secrets.
Almost five years after fleeing to China, a former Apple worker has been accused with stealing the company’s self-driving vehicle technology.
Prosecutors accuse Weibao Wang, 35, of stealing thousands of proprietary files while surreptitiously working for an undisclosed Chinese corporation.
The indictment includes six charges of theft or attempted theft of trade secrets.
This is the third time an ex-Apple employee has been accused of stealing self-driving technology secrets for China.
Mr Wang is accused of stealing Apple’s entire autonomous source code as well as the hardware that powers the systems.
According to the justice department, Mr Wang joined Apple in March 2016 as a member of the team that created technologies for autonomous systems.
He signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the project, which was only known to a few people within the company at the time.
According to the indictment, Mr Wang left Apple on April 16, 2018. According to US prosecutors, he received an offer to work as an engineer at another company developing self-driving cars five months prior, unbeknownst to the organization.
According to authorities, the anonymous company is situated in China.
While Mr Wang was present, law enforcement searched his residence in Mountain View, California, in June 2018.
He informed authorities that he had no plans to depart the United States. The same day, he purchased a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Guangzhou, China, according to the Justice Department.
An examination of the gadgets confiscated from Mr Wang’s residence revealed that he had stored substantial amounts of Apple data on self-driving car technology.
Ismail Ramsey, the US Attorney for the Northern District of California, revealed in a press conference that Mr Wang was still in China.
He could face ten years in prison for each of the six accusations if he is ever extradited and convicted.