The US has charged former Apple engineer Weibao Wang with trade secret theft and attempting to flee to China. Wang is accused of stealing Apple’s autonomous systems technology, including their self-driving car project, Project Titan. He had worked at Apple since 2016 but delayed informing the company about his resignation after accepting a job offer from a Chinese company in 2017. Apple discovered that Wang had accessed a significant amount of proprietary data before leaving, and a search of his home revealed a substantial quantity of Apple data. Wang managed to escape to China.
The article does not provide information about Apple’s response to the case. Wang’s charges are part of a broader effort to combat trade secret theft, joining previous cases involving former Apple employees Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen, who were arrested in 2018 and 2019 for stealing self-driving car secrets. If convicted, Wang could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and fines for each count of trade secret theft. Apple’s Project Titan, initially slated for a 2019 release, has faced challenges and undergone changes, including layoffs. The project’s launch has been delayed multiple times, and the most recent report suggests a potential launch in 2026. Meanwhile, Apple is currently conducting vehicle tests on California’s roads as indicated in state filings.