Today, Xiaolang Zhang, the former Apple Inc employee, pleaded not guilty in a court in a US federal court that is located in San Jose, California. after federal prosecutors accused him of stealing trade secrets.
Last week, Zhang was indicted on a single count of trade secret theft. It comes on the back of the evidence that submitted by Apple which claims that he accepted a job at Guangzhou-based Xiaopeng Motors, also known as Xmotors, its rival that is based in China. The tech giant says that he downloaded some proprietary files and blueprints for a circuit board for an autonomous car from the servers of the company while he was preparing to leave the iPhone maker and before booking a last-minute flight that was bound for China.
Last Monday, Zhang Xiaolang entered the plea through Atty. Daniel Olmos, his lawyer. He was arrested just before he was able to board the flight.
According to his lawyer, Virginia K. DeMarchi, a US Magistrate Judge, had previously granted the release of Zhang. He was working to secure bail amounting to US$300,000 with property. Zhang was wearing a dress shirt and khakis and was accompanied by a woman during the trial. He was silent during the hearing last Monday and listened via an interpreter.
The case aroused the interest of many people across the globe, as it revealed some information surrounding the secretive self-driving car technology of Apple that was previously unknown to the public.
People know has the knowledge that Apple has approximately 5,000 employees who are verified to have access to the information regarding the said program, with an additional 2,700 employees having some access to secret databases.
Reportedly, Zhang was working on a so-called sensor fusion concept, where various sensors are utilised to make cars more accurate in their decisions while they are in self-driving mode.
Given that today Zhang has pleaded not to be guilty of the accusations against him, Apple will possibly have to reveal even more details regarding its technology should the case end up in court.