A federal court has charged a former Apple engineer with stealing trade secrets related to a self-driving car and attempting to flee to China.
Agents in San Jose, California, arrested Xiaolang Zhang on Saturday, moments before he was to board his flight.
Zhang is said to have taken paternity leave in April, traveling to China just after the birth of a child.
When he returned, he informed his supervisors he was leaving Apple to join Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese company in Guangzhao, which also plans to build self-driving cars.
But security cameras caught Zhang allegedly entering Apple’s self-driving car lab and downloading blueprints and other information on a personal computer at the time he was supposed to be in China on paternity leave.
Neither the FBI nor Zhang’s lawyers have commented.