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Apple Employee Gave Secrets To Xiaopeng Motors

Xiaolang Zhang Was Trying To Get A Job At Xiaopeng Motors

Xiaopeng Motors G3 Model
Xiaopeng Motors G3 Model

What better way to get a job at a hot Chinese tech autonomous vehicle start up than by stealing/giving 40GBs worth of proprietary data from Apple’s autonomous car division to said company? Well that is exactly what Xiaolang Zhang did and he likely will do 10 years federal time for it. According to an article from The Verge Xiaolang Zhang worked for Apple from December 2015 until May 2018 and has been arrested over the past weekend trying to flee the country. In April of this year Xiaolang Zhang returned back to Apple from a month long paternity leave to inform Apple that he was quitting and moving back to China to take care of his ailing and sick mother. Afterwards he told his supervisors that he planned on working for Alibaba-backed start up Xiaopeng Motors.

Apple Thought The Timing Was Supicious

Apple Headquarters

The timing and revelation that Xiaolang Zhang was leaving to go to Xiaopeng Motors made Apple suspicious and rightfully so. They audited his work computer and work devices and discovered that his network activity had spiked exponentially in the time leading up to his quitting. When looking further it was discovered that 40GBs worth of data had been copied onto his local device and air dropped to his wife (of which 60% was deemed critical and concerning). CCTV footage also showed Xiaolang Zhang stealing cables and computers from the Apple campus. Apple alerted the FBI who then got a search warrant for Xiaolang Zhang’s home. They raided his home on June 27th, 2018 and Zhang told them what he had told Apple. He was arresting after the FBI learned he bought a round trip ticket from San Jose, California to Beijing, China. He was arrested at the security checkpoint.

Who Is Xiaopeng Motors

Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology, or known simply as Xpeng, was founded in 2014 by mobile internet entrepreneur He Xiaopeng. This company is backed by Alibaba (think of them like the Amazon of China). Both are seen as major competitors to Apple, Google and other tech companies in the autonomous vehicle sector. For a more detailed breakdown of this incident watch my #TechTalk on it below and don’t forget to like this video, leave comments and subscribe! Enjoy this #TechTalk support the site by visiting the shop.