Ex-Google Engineer Charged With Stealing A.I. Secrets for Chinese Firm

A Chinese citizen who recently quit his job as a software engineer for Google in California has been charged with trying to transfer artificial intelligence technology to a Beijing-based company that paid him secretly, according to a federal indictment unsealed on Wednesday.

Prosecutors accused Linwei Ding, who was part of the team that designs and maintains Google’s vast A.I. supercomputer data system, of stealing information about the “architecture and functionality” of the system, and of pilfering software used to “orchestrate” supercomputers “at the cutting edge of machine learning and A.I. technology.”

From May 2022 to May 2023, Mr. Ding, also known as Leon, uploaded 500 files, many containing trade secrets, from his Google-issued laptop to the cloud by using a multistep scheme that allowed him to “evade immediate detection,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of California.

Mr. Ding was arrested on Wednesday morning at his home in Newark, Calif., not far from Google’s sprawling main campus in Mountain View, officials said.

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