Chinese EV start-up Xpeng accuses Tesla of bullying
Published: Apr 26, 2020 12:08 PM

A view of Xpeng's G3 model in an experience store in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province in December Photo: VCG

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Xpeng Motors accused Tesla on Saturday of keeping bullying them throughout last year, as the US electric car manufacturing giant asked Xpeng to provide all of its self-driving source codes in a lawsuit against a former Tesla employee.

All of Tesla's endeavors over the last year are apparently bullies against a nascent Chinese EV competitor rather than for the purpose of solving legal problems involving Tesla's former employee Cao Guangzhi, who is now working for Xpeng, the company said in a new statement.

The comment came as Tesla filed a lawsuit against Cao in a California court, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining Xpeng. 

Since then, Tesla came up with many unreasonable requests for Xpeng, like asking the start-up to provide all of its self-driving source codes, according to the statement.

Over the last year, Xpeng tried to assist in the case, without concealing anything, it said. Xpeng voluntarily offered a digital copy of Cao's computer files and permitted Tesla, under court protection order, to get access to the company's source code storage to obtain evidence.

Xpeng also hired an independent agency to conduct an investigation and it was concluded that no evidence shows that Tesla's source code, trade secrets or confidential information was transmitted to Xpeng or its system, the company said. 

"Hence, Xpeng firmly rejects Tesla's unreasonable demand of providing all of Xpeng's source codes," it said, noting that the firm always respects and protects its own and others' intellectual property rights.

Groundless accusation will not hinder Xpeng's pace of independent research and development to advance smart cars, the company said.

Tesla didn't comment by press time.

Global Times