Car Engineer Xiaolang Zhang Confirms He Stole Apple’s Trade Secrets

A former Apple Inc engineer, Xiaolang Zhang, has pleaded guilty to trade secret theft.

Zhang is one of two people accused of stealing trade secrets from the Apple’s self-driving car program.

Zhang downloaded Apple’s circuit board plan for its self-driving car after disclosing his intentions to work for a Chinese self-driving car startup, U.S. prosecutors allege.

Zhang joined Chinese electric car maker Xpeng after leaving Apple. Xpeng has distanced itself from Zhang and the case.

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

Zhang’s sentencing is set for November.

Jizhong Chen, the other former Apple engineer charged with trade secret theft, has pleaded not guilty.

Chen has a court hearing set for Aug. 29.

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