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China’s leading search giant Baidu sues ex-driverless car chief over alleged information theft

Baidu Inc, China’s largest search engine provider is suing its former autonomous driving chief and his mobility startup JingChi Inc. for stealing their technology.

According to the lawsuit, there is a dispute between Alphabet Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. over allegations that their former employee took some of their valued data when he changed his ways. Baidu sued Jing Chi Inc. in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court and said that it wants $7.6 million, legal costs in compensation as well as wants the startup to stop using any supposedly stolen technology.

Baidu wants to become China’s leading provider of self-driving cars competing head-to-head against popular companies like Tesla who are taking steps to introduce potentially transformative technology. Baidu recently released its open-source approach with the name “Apollo” and is trying to convince a number of car makers and tech-peers to contribute to their project.

JingChi Inc, which was founded in April, raised $52 million in September from investors including Qiming Venture Partners and Nvidia Corp. It has also acquired a license to test their autonomous vehicles on California’s roads. Recently it has reached agreements acquired rights to deploy driverless cars in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing.

However, according to Wang Jing, Baidu’s allegations are baseless and his company’s legal team is preparing for a proper response. He also said that the company is moving its headquarters in China and is soon going to publicly show to the world the capabilities of its technology.

Currently, JingChi Inc, headed by Wang Jing, a Chinese mobility startup powered by artificial intelligence is developing certain projects like high definition maps for autonomous driving, using LiDAR data for perceiving objects around the vehicle, and deep learning-powered perception of the driving environment. Also, the startup hired 4 employees from the former company.

Soon after Andrew Ng, Baidu’s AI expert resigned, Wang Jing also parted his ways from Baidu to start his own company in April 2017.

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