Apple Concerned Ex-Employees Accused of Theft of Trade Secrets Will Flee to China

Apple today asked a federal court to continue monitoring two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets, citing "deep concerns" that the two could attempt to flee the country before their trials.

According to Reuters, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should have their locations monitored because they are flight risks.

lexussuvselfdriving2
Zhang was charged with theft of trade secrets back in July 2018 after he attempted to steal data on the car project that Apple has in the works. Prior to when he was caught, Zhang worked on Apple's compute team, designing and testing circuit boards to analyze sensor data in autonomous vehicles.

Zhang had "broad access to secure and confidential internal databases," and after announcing his plans to leave Apple for China-based XMotors, an investigation was launched due to suspicious behavior. Just ahead of leaving, Zhang accessed sensitive content that included prototypes, power requirements, low voltage requirements, battery systems, and more. Zhang was ultimately arrested at the airport in July 2018 attempting to leave for China.

In a separate incident, Apple caught Jizhong Chen, another Apple employee, taking photographs "in a sensitive workspace." After launching an investigation, Apple security officials found that Chen's personal computer contained "thousands" of Apple Car-related files, including manuals, schematics, photographs, and diagrams.

Chen had recently applied for a position with a China-based autonomous vehicle company and was arrested for theft of trade secrets one day before he was set to fly to China. Recently, it was also discovered that Chen had classified files from the Patriot missile program that belonged to Raytheon, his ex-employer.

Both men have been monitored electronically after being released on bail ahead of their trials, and they are now seeking to have that monitoring end. The lawyer for the men has said that they have not shown signs of violating pre-trial conditions thus far and did not actually share Apple's intellectual property with a third party.

The lawyer has also argued that each man was going to China to visit relatives, not to escape prosecution, and that both have strong ties to the United States. Chen and Zhang are both facing multi-year prison terms and hefty fines if convicted.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Pepe4life Avatar
32 months ago
China is our enemy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mansu944 Avatar
32 months ago
Maybe apple should pay a little more for domestic talent?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Internet Enzyme Avatar
32 months ago
This is a pretty new thread and I’m already seeing a lot of worrying, xenophobic stuff. These people should be monitored and they shouldn’t be allowed to evade the trial, but I think that a lot of the anti-Chinese sentiment I am seeing here is borderline bigotry. The Chinese government does subjugate their people and their methods are highly disagreeable and wrong, but I don’t think that the people in this comment thread should twist these regrettable realities of living under Chinese governance into an argument impeding Chinese people from working at Apple.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haunebu Avatar
32 months ago
Stop hiring Chinese nationals. Seriously, I'm amazed that Tim Cook and team are willfully ignorant to the shameless, brazen stealing of Western intellectual property by the Chinese. It's the cultural norm for them.

The Chinese Communist Party is only too happy to exploit this weakness in America's culture of acceptance and non-judgement. Stop being suckers!
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
32 months ago

This is a pretty new thread and I’m already seeing a lot of worrying, xenophobic stuff. These people should be monitored and they shouldn’t be allowed to evade the trial, but I think that a lot of the anti-Chinese sentiment I am seeing here is borderline bigotry. The Chinese government does subjugate their people and their methods are wrong, but I don’t think that the people in this comment thread should take these regrettable realities of living under Chinese governance as an argument against the Chinese people who wish to work for Apple.
Wow you're pretty native. What bigotry? Who's being racist here? If you don't know how much Chinese companies have stolen in terms of intellectual property, designs, etc, you've been living under a very large rock.

You are also missing the point here, nobody is pointing out that ALL Chinese people are spies or technology thieves, but there's a chance that people on work visas or otherwise non American citizens or reisdents could be.

And it's a very, very serious threat.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Internet Enzyme Avatar
32 months ago

Wow you're pretty native. What bigotry? Who's being racist here? If you don't know how much Chinese companies have stolen in terms of intellectual property, designs, etc, you've been living under a very large rock.

You are also missing the point here, nobody is pointing out that ALL Chinese people are spies or technology thieves, but there's a chance that people on work visas or otherwise non American citizens or reisdents could be.

And it's a very, very serious threat.
A statement like “China is our enemy” is a pretty jingoistic, unsettling piece of rhetoric: it’s a dangerous, dubious argument which people have used throughout history to justify many disastrous policies and conflicts.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
iOS 16 mock for feature wishlist

iOS 16 Wishlist: Features MacRumors Readers Want to See in the Next Version of iOS

Friday May 27, 2022 2:15 pm PDT by
There's just over a week to go until the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is one of the biggest Apple events of the year. We've heard surprisingly little about iOS 16 this year, so we're in for some major surprises when June 6 rolls around. As we wait for the keynote event, we thought we'd share some iOS 16 wishlist items from MacRumors readers, because who knows? We just might...
top stories 28may2022

Top Stories: WWDC 2022 Schedule, New Apple Watch Pride Bands, and More

Saturday May 28, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
It's Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and that means WWDC is right around the corner and anticipation is building for what we might see at the opening keynote. Software updates are a given, but will we see any new hardware? Other news this week included the annual release of new Pride-themed Apple Watch bands, iPhone 14 Pro rumors, and Sony's latest headphones that compete against...
a16 5nm m2 3nm feature 2

Alleged Apple Chip Plans Suggest 'A16' Will Stick With 5nm, 'M2' to Make Jump to 3nm Instead

Friday May 27, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
The "A16" chip for the iPhone will reportedly be manufactured with the same process as the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic, with Apple saving a bigger performance leap for the "M2" chip designed for its next-generation Macs. Meanwhile, the company is working on a "final" M1 chip variant that uses more powerful cores from the A15, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In a thread on...