A hardware engineer working for Apple’s driverless car research unit has been charged by the US for sending sensitive technology secrets to a Chinese company, Bloomberg reports, marking the second such case regarding Apple and Chinese corporate espionage.
Jizhong Chen allegedly took photographs of machinery in Apple facilities, despite recently signing an oath of strict confidentiality when he joined the company’s autonomous car project.
Prosecutors in California said that Chen admitted to taking the photos and transferring up to 2,000 corporate files to his personal hard drive, including manuals and schematics. He had also applied for a job with a Chinese autonomous vehicle company at the time.
In July, another Apple engineer was charged for stealing similar secrets for a Chinese startup, but pleaded not guilty to the allegations. Instead, the worker claimed to be leaving the country to visit family rather than fleeing the US with the secrets.