Apple recently told a federal court that it has “deep concerns” that two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets may attempt to flee to the communist country before their trial if not closely monitored.
CNBC reports that Silicon Valley tech giant Apple told a federal court on Monday that it has “deep concerns” that two former Apple employees from China accused of stealing trade secrets may attempt to flee the country if not monitored closely before their trials. Prosecutors argued during a hearing on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored as they pose a potential flight risk.
Both of the former employees were arrested on criminal charges of trade secret thefts while they were on their way to airports where they planned to fly to China. Since then, both men have been monitored while released on bail. Their defense attorney argued on Monday that both men had family reasons for visiting China and had shown no signs of violating their pre-trial conditions so far.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Harris argued that if the men fled to China then it would be difficult or even impossible to extradite the men for their trial. Harris read a statement from Apple to U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila, the statement reads:
Apple’s intellectual property is at the core of our innovation and growth. The defendants continued participation in these proceedings is necessary to ensure a final determination of the facts, and we have deep concerns the defendants will not see this through if given the opportunity.
Three Apple employees were present to support prosecutors during the hearing including Anthony DeMario, a strategic adviser to Apple’s global security group and veteran of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Despite the threats to its intellectual property, Apple continues to do business in China. In October, investors praised CEO Tim Cook for his dealings with the communist country.