Tag Archives: Foxconn

Xpeng Engineer Guilty Of Stealing Apple Car Secrets!

XPeng Engineer Guilty Of Stealing Apple Car Secrets!

An XPeng engineer just pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from the Apple Project Titan self-driving car program!

Here is what we know so far…

 

XPeng Engineer Guilty Of Stealing Apple Car Secrets!

A former Apple engineer who joined Xpeng – the Chinese electric vehicle maker, just pleaded guilty to the criminal charge of stealing trade secrets from the Apple self-driving car program!

Zhang Xiaolang initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but he reached a plea deal with prosecutors and changed his plea to guilty, according to court documents released on Monday, August 22, 2022.

The plea deal is sealed, so the details are unknown. Zhang’s attorney, Daniel Olmos, confirmed the plea agreement but declined to comment on the details. Sentencing however is set for November 2022.

Zhang faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. With this plea deal, he should serve a much shorter sentence.

In addition to Zhang, US federal prosecutors also charged Chen Jizhong with stealing secrets from the Apple self-driving car program. Chen, however, continues to plead not guilty, and will have his day in court on August 29, 2022.

Chen is also represented by the same lawyer as Zhang – Daniel Olmos.

Recommended : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

How XPeng Engineer Stole Apple Car Secrets!

Zhang Xiaolang worked on the Apple Project Titan autonomous vehicle program as a hardware engineer between 2015 and 2018, during which he designed and tested circuit boards.

He travelled to China during his paternity leave in 2018, and on returning in April 2018, he told his boss at Apple that he was leaving to work for XPeng (Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology) in China.

XPeng, also known as XMotors in the United States, is a Chinese electric car startup backed by Alibaba, Foxconn and IDG Capital. It has developed electric cars like the XPeng G3 and XPeng P5.

His boss felt that Zhang was “being evasive” during the meeting. There was also increased network activity and visits to his office, before he resigned. All that led to an internal Apple investigation of his two company-issued phones and laptop.

That’s when they discovered that Zhang had been downloading confidential files from the Apple lab during his time away. He was also caught on CCTV removing circuit boards and a Linux server from their lab.

Zhang’s network activity was found to consist of “both bulk searches and targeted downloading copious pages of information from the various confidential database applications“.

Recommended : US Mil Contractor Admits Selling Aviation Secrets To China!

Zhang was arrested at the San Jose airport in July 7, 2018, before he could board a last-minute, one-way flight to China aboard Hainan Airlines.

In an interview with Apple’s security team, Zhang admitted that he downloaded the data online, and removed hardware from its labs. He also admitted to the FBI that he stored the files he downloaded on his wife’s laptop.

The FBI described the data he stoled as “largely technical in nature, including engineering schematics, technical reference manuals, and technical reports“.

The files – about 24 GB worth – include a 25-page document containing engineering schematics of a circuit board, as well as technical manuals and PDFs related to the Apple self-driving car prototype.

The other Apple engineer to be charged with stealing secrets of its autonomous car project – Chen Jizhong – was accused of stealing stolen thousands of sensitive documents, as well as 100 photos taken inside its self-driving facility – all discovered in a hard disk drive he owned.

Chen was also arrested when he attempted to board a flight to China, ostensibly to visit his ill father.

Recommended : TikTok Leak : China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

 

XPeng Denies Involvement In Theft Of Apple Car Secrets!

XPeng said in a Weibo post that it was aware of the plea agreement from media reports, but it was “not clear about the details, nor involved in further investigation conducted by US law enforcement“.

It has been more than four years into the case, and we are not aware of the specifics of the case and have not been involved in the follow-up investigation of the case by the US judiciary.

We also have no relevant dispute with Apple and have no connection with the case. We strictly abide by relevant laws and attaches great importance to intellectual property protection.

Zhang joined XMotors in May 2018, but the company quickly distanced itself from its employee, stating on July 11, 2021 :

There is no indication that he has ever communicated any sensitive information from Apple to XMotors.

XMotors always has strictly abided by the laws of China and the United States and takes protection of intellectual property rights seriously.

Company spokesperson Isabel Jiang also stated that once they were notified in late June 2018 that US authorities were investigating Zhang, they secured his computer and office equipment and denied him access to his work. They subsequently fired him.

XPeng also said that Zhang signed an intellectual property compliance document on the day he joined, and that there was “no record that he reported any sensitive and illegal situations” to the company.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Automotive | CybersecurityTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Exasperated Apple Shifts Some iPad Production Out Of China!

Apple has gotten so exasperated that they shifted some iPad production out of China for the first time!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Exasperated Apple Shifts Some iPad Production Out Of China!

Apple has reportedly shifted some of its iPad production out of China, over the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Shanghai.

Strict lockdowns in and around Shanghai after a surge in COVID-19 cases have led to months of supply chain disruptions for Apple, even though their factories operated in a closed loop.

Apple built production lines in Vietnam with the help of China’s BYD, and will “soon start to produce” some iPads there.

Apple had asked Foxconn to move iPad and MacBook Pro production from China to Vietnam in 2020, with plans to manufacture a significant proportion of iPads there. However, a COVID-19 surge in 2021 delayed those plans.

Even though China has started to lift their Zero COVID restrictions in Shanghai, Apple is unlikely to reverse these plans to shift production to Vietnam.

This will be the second major production line to shift to Vietnam. Apple shifted almost 30% of AirPods production to Vietnam in the second quarter of 2020.

 

Apple Also Asked Suppliers To Build Up Inventories

Apple also asked multiple component suppliers to build up their inventories, to prevent supply chain disruptions from affecting production.

One of the people with direct knowledge of this issue said :

For example, component supplier X has a 40% share of Apple’s business in Jiangsu Province, which is a risky region of supply chain disruption, and supplier Y in another city accounts for the remaining 60% share.

Apple would want supplier Y to build enough additional components to match supplier X’s 40% share in the coming months in case production in Jiangsu is shut down again.

If China continues with its Zero COVID policy, it is likely that Apple and other companies will seriously look at shifting more of their production to other countries.

Supplies of electronics from China’s factories have been severely impacted by their strict COVID-19 lockdowns, even though some factories are allowed to use a closed loop system.

There is also worker welfare to consider – there is only so much they can tolerate the closed loop system, where workers are restricted to factory campuses for weeks on end.

In early May, workers at the Quanta factory producing MacBook laptops in Shanghai rioted over the closed loop system, and fled the factory.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | MobileTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Foxconn To Build New 12-Inch Wafer Fab In Malaysia!

Foxconn just announced that they will be building a 12-inch wafer fab in Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Foxconn To Build New 12-Inch Wafer Fab In Malaysia!

On 17 May 2022, Foxconn announced that their wholly-owned subsidiary, Big Innovation Holdings Limited (BIH) will form a joint venture company with Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNeX), to build and operate a new 12-inch wafer fabrication plant in Malaysia.

Both DNeX and BIH have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on build and operate the new 12-inch wafer fab.

Under the MOU, DNeX and BIH will work together to “decide the location of the New Fab in Malaysia, financing structure of the project, and initial management structure and key personnel of the New Fab.

The new fab is expected to produce 40,000 wafers a month, using 28-nanometer and 40-nanometer process technologies developed in 2011 and 2008 respectively.

The 28nm and 40nm process technologies are not new, but they are still in high demand for less complex chips used in industrial, consumer electronics and automotive applications.

 

New 12-Inch Foxconn Wafer Fab In Malaysia : Not A Done Deal

While this is exciting news for Malaysia, it is not a done deal. Both companies only signed a Memorandum of Understanding, not a contract.

There are no concrete details of where the wafer fab will be located, or how much Foxconn will invest. It is also unknown how many jobs this project would create.

One would do well to remember the $10 billion project that Foxconn announced with the Trump Administration in July 2017.

Foxconn was supposed to build and operate a 20-million square foot manufacturing campus in Wisconsin, that would build flat panel displays, and create 13,000 jobs, in return for $3 billion in subsidies.

In the end, that massive flat panel project was abandoned and downsized into a network operations and storage centre worth about $672 million, creating only 1,454 new jobs.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | Computer | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!