Apple employee steals self-driving technology secrets

This is the second information theft case at Apple in six months by a Chinese national.


Jizhong Chen, employee of Apple, was arrested for passing on confidential information pertaining to the Company’s self-driving technology to a Chinese competitor. This is the second time such a case of information theft by a Chinese employee has occurred at Apple recently.

Investigations revealed several very confidential documents, diagrams and manuals, from Apple’s secret Project Titan division, in the employee’s personal computer backed up on his personal hard drive. The matter was investigated when the employee was noticed taking photographs. The Division, which was launched over four years back, has been working on autonomous driving and Chen had joined as a developer with the project since June 2018.

The arrest happened a day before he was to fly to China to meet his ill father. The accused defended himself by saying that he had clicked the pictures as an insurance since he was applying for positions inside the company, while being put on a performance improvement plan. However, it was discovered that he had actually applied for jobs outside the Company, of which one position was with a competitior in China. It was also learned that he had been accumulating pictures and information even before he had been put on the performance improvement plan.

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