Employee’s theft of trade secrets unrelated to Xpeng: company

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/11 20:28:40

Employee’s theft of trade secrets unrelated to Xpeng

Xpeng Motors said on Wednesday that there is no indication that its employee Zhang Xiaolang, an ex-Apple engineer who is charged with stealing Apple's trade secrets, has transferred any sensitive information from the US company to China, and the start-up will fully cooperate with relevant authorities regarding the matter.

The comment came after the FBI charged Zhang with stealing trade secrets related to Apple's autonomous vehicle program, US tech news site the Verge reported on Wednesday.

"In late June Xpeng was informed that local authorities in the US were launching an investigation into Zhang," Xpeng, a new-energy vehicle start-up, said in a statement it sent to the Global Times, adding that the company then immediately secured Zhang's computer and office equipment and denied his access to work.

Meanwhile, Xpeng also conducted an investigation with external counsel and terminated the employee accordingly, said the statement. 

When Zhang joined Xpeng in May, he signed documents related to compliance in intellectual property protection (IPR), and "there is no indication that he has ever communicated any sensitive information" from Apple to Xpeng, the statement added.

The start-up also stressed in the statement that it has strictly abided by the laws of China and the US and takes IPR very seriously.

Zhang is accused of "transferring more than 40 GB of Apple intellectual property to his wife's laptop" before he left the company, news website wired.com reported. He was arrested while trying to leave the US on July 7, and now faces 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, media reports said.

Xpeng was founded in 2014, and in January, it secured $350 million in its A series of fundraising, led by Alibaba and Foxconn. 

Newspaper headline: Employee’s theft of trade secrets unrelated to Xpeng

Posted in: COMPANIES

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