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Home / Business / Tesla sues a former employee for allegedly stealing self-propelled technology and handing it over to Xiaopeng Motors

Tesla sues a former employee for allegedly stealing self-propelled technology and handing it over to Xiaopeng Motors



The electric car maker filed suit on Thursday in the United States. He claimed that engineer Guangzhi Cao had stolen important details from Tesla's self-propelled project and taken her to Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric vehicle launch. The company of Elon Musk strives for damages and prevents Cao from using the information.

Tesla ( TSLA ) says Cao has uploaded full copies of the company's self-propelled source code to his person Apple ( AAPL ) iCloud account. He took more than 300,000 files and directories, according to a lawsuit in the US District Court in California.

After accepting a job with Xiaopeng, Cao deleted 1

20,000 files from his work computer and disconnected his iCloud account, the lawsuit says. He then repeatedly logged into Tesla's networks and erased his browser history before leaving Tesla in early January.

Cao now works for XMotors, Xiaopeng's US subsidiary.

Xiaopeng said in a statement that he had initiated an internal investigation, did not know of Cao's alleged misconduct and added that he had not asked him to "abuse trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information of Tesla".

"XMotors fully respects the intellectual property rights and confidential information of a third party," he said.

Cao could not be contacted immediately for comment.

  Xiaopeng began selling its electric SUV, the Xpeng G3, in December.

The Tesla lawsuit is the second time in less than a year that someone hired by Xiaopeng is accused of stealing self-driving trade secrets of a major US technology company.

In July, engineer Xiaolang Zhang was arrested and charged with theft of trade secrets on Apple's self-propelled project. Xiaopeng said that no Apple-related information was disclosed to the company and Zhang was released. Zhang did not plead guilty.

  Why Tesla needs Elon Musk
So far, Xiaopeng has raised $ 100 billion ($ 1.5 billion) from some of Asia's largest tech companies, including Alibaba [19659003]] BABA ) Foxconn ( HNHPF ) and Xiaomi. Since December, it sells its first and only electric vehicle in China, the XPeng G3. The SUV has a self-propelled function called X-Pilot. The self-drive function of Tesla is called autopilot.

Tesla accuses the Chinese company of an obvious theft. The complaint alleges that Tesla has "transparently mimicked Tesla's design, technology and even its business model," and XMotors currently employs at least five of Tesla's former autopilot employees, including Cao

"Tesla believes that Cao and his new Employers, XMotors, will continue to have unrestricted access to Tesla's marquee technology, a product of more than five years of work and … hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that they have no legal ownership, "the lawsuit says.

  The Tesla Model X is exhibited in Hong Kong. Tesla accused a former employee of stealing self-propelled technology and sharing it with Chinese rival Xiaopeng Motors.

The US company sued Cao for punitive damages and ordered a court order to prevent him from keeping and using Tesla's trade secrets and confidential information.

There's a lot of Tesla's already in Xiaopeng's car, according to Tu Le, founder of the research firm Sino Auto Insights.

"The XPeng G3 is a poor man's Tesla Model X in many ways," he said.


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