Former Apple employee charged with stealing trade secrets

2 mins read

A federal grand jury indicted a former Apple employee for allegedly stealing and sharing trade secrets. 

According to the press release from the Department of Justice, Weibao Wang, 35, was hired in March 2016 as a software engineer. He was trained regarding secrecy when handling confidential materials. 

The technology giant also established rules that prohibit sharing information. 

Wang worked with a team that developed and designed autonomous systems for different applications, including self-driving cars. 

In November 2017, Wang accepted a full-time role as a Staff Engineer at another company and didn’t inform his managers for four months. 

When Wang rendered his last day at Apple, company representatives reviewed his access logs and discovered what information Wang had accessed that day. 

According to DOJ, the administrators learned that Wang had accessed “large amounts of sensitive proprietary and confidential information in the days leading up to his departure from Apple.” 

In June 2018, law enforcement searched Wang’s Mountain View residence and found large quantities of data taken from Apple. 

During the search, Wang told officials he would not be traveling. 

However, Wang reportedly bought a one-way ticket to China and boarded a plane that night. 

Law enforcement discovered Wang had accessed Apple’s proprietary and confidential information after leaving Apple and when the new company employed him. 

If Wang is convicted, he could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 (or twice the gross gain or loss that resulted from the criminal acts). 


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.