Well-known Chinese news site Tencent News recently reported that the FBI detained a second Chinese engineer (Chen Jizhong), who worked at Apple, for stealing classified information on Apple’s self-driving car technology. A further search found more unauthorized photos in Chen’s hard disk. Chen admitted that he planned to return to China and work for Xiaopeng Automobiles, a Chinese smart car manufacturer. Xiaopeng later commented on the story and said the company had never interviewed this individual. Last July the FBI arrested another Apple Chinese engineer (Zhang Xiaolang) for stealing self-driving car information. Zhang did join Xiaopeng Automobiles. Xiaopeng later refused to acknowledge that they had any awareness of Zhang’s illegal activities. According to the FBI, Apple confirmed that the materials Chen stole would have been “extremely damaging” if handed to competitors. Apple’s self-driving car team suffered quite a few setbacks in the past and Apple has laid off many people.
Source: Tencent News, January 31, 2019