The indictment was unsealed by a federal court docket in California, revealing the case as a part of a broader crackdown on efforts by hostile nation-states to illicitly purchase delicate US know-how for their very own functions.
The accused particular person, Weibao Wang, was employed by Apple in 2016 as a software program engineer for his or her autonomous driving undertaking often called Challenge Titan.
After working for 18 months on the undertaking, Wang accepted a job provide from a Chinese language firm concerned in autonomous driving. The indictment alleges that Wang failed to tell Apple of his departure till 4 months later.
In response to the DOJ, it was found that Wang had accessed important quantities of delicate proprietary and confidential info throughout the days main as much as his departure from Apple in 2018.
A subsequent search of Wang’s residence in Mountain View, California, revealed a considerable cache of Apple’s knowledge. On the identical day, Wang flew from San Francisco to Guangzhou on a one-way ticket.
Weibao Wang now faces six expenses associated to stealing or making an attempt to steal commerce secrets and techniques. Every rely carries a possible jail sentence of as much as 10 years and fines of as much as $250,000.
This case is a part of a collaborative effort by authorities companies, together with the ‘Disruptive Technology Strike Force’ led by the DoJ and Division of Commerce to fight the unauthorised acquisition of US know-how by hostile nation-states.
“Defending delicate American know-how—like supply code for ‘sensible’ automotive manufacturing gear or gadgets used to develop quantum cryptography—from being illegally acquired by our adversaries is why we stood up the Disruptive Know-how Strike Power,” mentioned Matthew Axelrod, assistant secretary for export enforcement on the Division of Commerce.
“The Strike Power actions introduced right now replicate the core mission of our Export Enforcement crew—maintaining our nation’s most delicate applied sciences out of the world’s most harmful fingers.”
Along with Wang’s case, the collaboration has additionally resulted in expenses in opposition to alleged procurement networks aiding:
- The Russian navy and intelligence providers
- A software program engineer accused of stealing commerce secrets and techniques for a Chinese language competitor
- A Chinese language community making an attempt to offer supplies for Iran’s nuclear weapons program
The crackdown on commerce secret theft is a vital step in defending delicate US know-how from being exploited by international entities for their very own acquire.
By prosecuting people concerned in such actions, the US authorities goals to discourage others and safeguard nationwide safety and financial pursuits.
This massive-scale collaborative effort between authorities companies underscores the seriousness of the difficulty and the dedication to guard worthwhile US know-how from unauthorised acquisition by international entities.
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