[Unmanned car theft case re-issued] Apple alarm FBI airport arrested Chinese engineers
Jan 17, 2019

In this special trade war time, Apple and China's auto companies made headlines in the United States for sensitive intellectual property issues.

  On July 11, the Northern District Court of California in the United States disclosed a lawsuit file. The former Apple unmanned vehicle team engineer Zhang Xiaolang was accused by the FBI of stealing trade secrets. Once settled, the Chinese engineer will face 10 years in prison. Penalties for a fine of 10,000 dollars.

  The Chinese engineer was arrested before the return flight. The embarrassing thing was that the engineer said he would return to the Chinese company Xiaopeng Automobile before he was arrested...

  Sort out the unmanned car case:

  The protagonist Zhang Xiaolang joined the Apple Unmanned Vehicle project "Project Titan" in December 2015, responsible for the development of hardware, such as designing and testing boards, and analyzing sensor data. Apple has always been known for its secrecy culture, and the autopilot project Titan is even more secret. When Zhang Xiaolang joined Apple, he signed an intellectual property agreement and attended a confidential training course.

  In April of this year, Zhang Xiaolang returned home to take maternity leave. When he returned from vacation, he told the supervisor that he planned to resign and joined the Chinese company Xiaopeng Automobile. However, Apple found that before Zhang Xiaolang’s departure, the activities related to intranet visits were “exponentially increasing” compared to his previous two years, and it was targeted to search and download information in various confidential databases, including some apples. Commercial and commercial secrets and intellectual property documents. In addition, Apple's surveillance camera data shows that Zhang Xiaolang returned to the company "secretly" during the maternity leave, and entered the autopilot software and hardware lab. While downloading the file, he also took a box of hardware to leave.

  Later, in the Apple Security Team survey, Zhang Xiaolang admitted to taking away the Linux server and circuit board, and admitted to wirelessly transmitting confidential work files to his wife's computer. He was investigated by the FBI at the end of June this year and has admitted to stealing Apple's unmanned commercial secrets and intellectual property rights. On July 7, Zhang Xiaolang went to San Jose Airport to prepare to return to China, but he was arrested by the FBI just after the security check.

  At present, the case has entered the trial stage of the court. Zhang Xiaolang may face 10 years in prison and a fine of 250,000 US dollars. And what is certain is that the new work of Xiaopeng, which he originally planned, will be lost.

  Xiaopeng Automobile issued the first statement:

  The following is the specific content of the declaration:

  Unmanned car case details

  It is understood that within Apple, if employees want to access information on sensitive projects such as Titan, they must first log in to Apple's VPN, and secondly, they need to be authorized by other employees who have visited the project, and then the administrator will review the access request. .

  About 5,000 Apple employees have access to Apple's autopilot data, and the number of "core employees" who have access to a more confidential database is about 2,700. At present, Apple has 135,000 full-time employees. There is no doubt that the current size of the Apple Unmanned Vehicles project team is not small.

  However, what the public knows is that Apple's unmanned vehicles suffered a serious crisis in 2016, and many core figures have withdrawn. Although the form has improved in 2017, there are still many unmanned vehicle engineers leaving. For example, 17 people once had a job change and joined a self-driving startup, Zoox. But did not see Apple's public response to this.

  After the disclosure of the case of Zhang Xiaolang, he quickly made headlines in the United States. Among them, Zhang Xiaolang’s next company, “Xiaopeng Automobile”, has also received attention. In this special trade war time, the fermentation of unmanned car theft is thought-provoking...

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