UPDATED: 7/16/18 7:34 pm ET – adds details
A former Apple Inc. engineer charged with stealing driverless car secrets for a Chinese startup pleaded not guilty in federal court in San Jose, Calif.
Zhang Xiaolang entered the plea through his lawyer Monday.
He was arrested just before boarding a flight to China on charges that he downloaded proprietary files while preparing to leave the iPhone maker and go to work for Guangzhou-based Xiaopeng Motors.
Zhang was granted bail by a judge and he is working to secure it, his attorney, Daniel Olmos, said after the hearing.
Prosecutors said Zhang admitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he downloaded Apple driverless technology files to his wife’s laptop to have continued access to them.
Xiaopeng motors has said it’s cooperating with authorities but that it found no indication Zhang ever communicated any sensitive information from Apple to his new employer.
The company also said it has always strictly abided by the laws of China and the U.S. and takes protection of intellectual property rights seriously.