(NewsReady.com) – The theft of American companies’ intellectual property and research remains a persistent problem in China. The US has battled the issue for years without resolution. Another professional is now being accused of stealing from a California-based corporation.
On May 16, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced a federal grand jury indicted former Apple employee Weibao Wang. The 35-year-old software engineer is accused of stealing trade secrets. According to the indictment, he began working for the company in 2016. Prior to starting, he signed a confidentiality agreement, promising to maintain the secrecy of the company’s intellectual information.
Former Apple Employee Charged with Theft of Trade Secrets: Apple employee Weibao Wang, charging him with theft and attempted theft of trade secrets in connection with a scheme to access, download, and steal Apple technology related to autonomous systems. https://t.co/agNaXiBy4w
— FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) May 18, 2023
Wang worked on projects that dealt with AI technology. In November 2017, Wang agreed to go to work as a Staff Engineer of a US-based subsidiary of a company based in China. That company was working to develop self-driving cars. He reportedly waited months to tell Apple he accepted a position with the other company.
Law enforcement searched Wang’s California residence and found “large quantities of data taken from Apple prior to his departure.” After the search warrant was executed, Wang purchased a one-way ticket from San Francisco to China.
Wang is accused of stealing the behavior planner for an autonomous system, entire autonomy source code, tracking for an autonomous system, architectural design and motion planner for one of the systems, and descriptions of hardware systems.
Wang is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
In addition to the case against Wang, the Department of Justice launched several others. The Disruptive Technology Strike Force aims to protect American companies from intellectual property theft. The task force is being led by both the DOJ and the Commerce Department in an attempt to stop hostile nations from stealing from Americans in order to “advance their authoritarian regimes and facilitate human rights abuses.” The case against Wang was one of five cases announced.
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