China EV Startup Vows to Stop Poaching from Rivals

April 16, 2019 at 1:31 AM

China’s Xpeng Motors says it will stop hiring staff from competitors after two prospects were accused of stealing secrets from their former U.S. employers.

CEO He Xiaopeng tells The Nikkei that his company, formally known as Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., will no longer look for people from companies in directly related businesses.

Last year a former Apple Inc. hardware engineers was charged with stealing proprietary data about the company’s autonomous vehicle program before starting a job with Xpeng. In March a former engineer at Tesla Inc. who was headed for Xpeng was accused of trying to abscond with 300,000 files about the carmaker’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system.

Xpeng wasn’t cited for wrongdoing in either case and insists it received no stolen data. The startup has tripled its staff to 3,500 people within the past year and aims to double it by the end of 2019, according to He. Xpeng has tripled its staff to 3,500 people within the past year and aims to double it by the end of 2019, according to He.

The EV maker began delivering its first model, the G3 crossover, last month. Earlier today it debuted its second EV, a five-passenger sedan, at the Shanghai auto show.