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Tesla sues ex-employee who joined Chinese competitor XPeng over alleged trade secret theft

Written by Song Jingli Published on     1 min read

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Tesla Wednesday filed in the United States a lawsuit against its former employee Cao Guangzhi for stealing its Autopilot related trade secrets before joining Alibaba-backed Chinese EV maker Xiaopeng M

Tesla Wednesday filed in the United States a lawsuit against its former employee Cao Guangzhi for stealing its Autopilot related trade secrets before joining Alibaba-backed Chinese EV maker Xiaopeng Motors earlier this year, The Verge reported.

Tesla alleges that Cao, before telling the company he’s quitting on January 3rd, had started copying more than 300,000 Autopilot related files and directories to his iCloud account and later on logged into the company’s intranet to clear his browsing history.

Xiaopeng Motors, or XPeng, which was set up in 2014 in Guangzhou, the capital city of China’s southern Guangdong province, told The Verge Thursday in a statement that the company is not aware of any alleged misconducts by Cao, adding that an internal investigation into this case has also started.

And Tesla isn’t the only company entangled in such trade secret theft disputes of late. Apple also sued its former employees, including two Chinese nationals, for alleged similar conducts. One of the charged later joined XPeng, although XPeng later on denied receiving such an application.

Xiaopeng on December 12th launched G3, its first-ever electric vehicle with L2.5 autonomous driving capabilities, including autonomous parking and set pre-subsidy prices between RMB 227,800 (US$34,024) and 257800 (US$38,505). The model received more than 10,000 orders in two weeks after its debut, announced He Xiaopeng, founder of the company.

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