Tesla requests China’s Xpeng to Disclose Source Code In a Lawsuit against a Former Employee

One year into Tesla’s allegations of a former employee taking trade secrets to a Chinese rival, the electric vehicle (EV) company is moving to gather more proof in the lawsuit against the so-called “traitor.”

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According to Bloomberg, Tesla has demanded China-based EV maker Xpeng Motors to hand over its autonomous-driving source code and images of computer hard drives of the employee in question, as well as to make him available for an interview.

Meanwhile, Tesla is requesting information from a former Apple employee who was charged with trying to take secrets to Xpeng. Tesla claimed that both Xpeng employees used Apple Airdrop to take sensitive files from their American employers.

As a response to Tesla’s latest moves, Xpeng said in a public litigation document that the company has repeatedly and extensively abide by Tesla’s reasonable request over the past year. However, the Chinese start-up claimed that Tesla is using the lawsuit to disrupt Xpeng’s business operations instead of limiting the litigation against its former employee Dr. Cao Guangzhi to a reasonable scope.

Xpeng pointed out that Cao has admitted to storing Tesla’s source code on a personal computer while working for Tesla but strongly denied the allegation of intellectual property abuse. Xpeng also denied receiving any Tesla source code or confidential information from Cao or anyone else.

In a statement issued by XMotors, Xpeng’s US research arm, a spokesperson said, “Tesla’s latest demands crossed the line, seeking to rummage through our IP on Tesla’s terms — and smearing us along the way with misrepresentations and innuendo.”