Xiaolang Zhang biography: 13 things about ex-Apple hardware engineer from China


Xiaolang Zhang is a Chinese man who worked and lived in California, United States. Here are 13 more things about him:


  1. Originally from China, he lived in San Jose, California.
  2. He is married.
  3. In 2015, he joined Apple, a multinational technology company based in Cupertino, California.
  4. From December 2015 to May 2018, as a hardware engineer on Apple’s autonomous vehicle team, he designed and tested circuit boards for the compute team of the company’s self-driving car project.
  5. On April 27, 2018, his network activity increased notably compared to the prior two years of his employment at Apple.  
  6. On April 30, 2018, he told Apple personnel that he was resigning from his job so that he could return to China to be closer to his ill mother. Shortly after, Apple terminated his access to its computer systems, conducted a forensic analysis of his Apple-owned devices and network activity and found that he downloaded a 25-page document including engineering schematics of a circuit board for an autonomous vehicle and took reference manuals and PDFs describing the company’s prototypes and prototype requirements. The company’s closed-circuit cameras had also captured him entering the labs and removing a Linux server and circuit boards.
  7. On July 7, 2018, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents learned that he bought a last-minute round-trip airline ticket with no co-travelers aboard Hainan Airlines, departing San Jose and traveling to Beijing, China with a final destination of Hangzhou, China. He planned to work for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology (Xpeng), an enterprise value (EV) startup in China backed by Alibaba but FBI agents intercepted and arrested him at the San Jose International Airport in San Jose.
  8. On July 9, 2018, he made his his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose before U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi.
  9.  On July 10, 2018, he was released on a $300,000 bond, subject to global positioning system (GPS) electronic monitoring.
  10. On July 12, 2018, a federal jury in San Jose indicted him for theft of trade secrets.
  11. On July 16, 2018, he pleaded not guilty before DeMarchi to theft of trade secrets.
  12. On August 22, 2022, he was charged with one count of theft of trade secrets at a court in San Jose. Represented by Daniel Olmos, he pleaded guilty to the charge.
  13. He was 37 years old when he pleaded guilty to one count of theft of trade secrets on August 22, 2022. His sentencing is scheduled for November 14, 2022. 

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