San Francisco, Aug 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) A former Chinese-origin Apple employee, accused of stealing trade secrets about the tech giant's automotive car division, has pleaded guilty in a court in the US.
Xiaolang Zhang was accused of downloading internal Apple files about the car that Apple plans to unveil in 2024.
According to a CNBC report late on Monday, Zhang faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled in November.
Zhang was accused of downloading internal Apple files that included "engineering schematics of a circuit board for an autonomous vehicle".
He was also accused of taking reference manuals and PDFs describing Apple's prototypes and prototype requirements, the report mentioned.
During an internal investigation, Apple found that he had transferred around 24GB of sensitive data to his wife's laptop via AirDrop.
He had also taken circuit boards and a server from the companya?s autonomous vehicle lab.
Zhang was arrested at the San Jose airport in the US in 2018 while trying to fly to China.
Another former employee, Jizhong Chen, is also facing charges over allegedly stealing trade secrets from Apple's electric car division.
Apple has ramped up its efforts to develop a self-driving car, and has filed several new patents in software and hardware related to riding comfort such as seats and suspension.
The iPhone maker is also working on vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, which allows cars to communicate with each other and connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), according to media reports.
In January last year, Hyundai Motor was said to be in talks with Apple for self-driving technology. The South Korean automaker later denied this.
Apple remains tight-lipped about its self-driving ambitions.