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Asia Startups

Magic Leap Accuses Ex-Employee of Stealing Tech to Start a Chinese Rival

Florida-based Magic Leap, one of the best-capitalized developers of augmented reality headsets, is suing a former engineer it accuses of stealing trade secrets to launch his own AR company in China, Bloomberg reports.

Magic Leap said in the lawsuit that Chi Xu, who left the firm in 2016, stole its designs and set up a Chinese company. His company unveiled its product, called Nreal, in January in Las Vegas.

It’s the latest in a string of cases in which U.S. companies have accused Chinese employees of stealing secrets for China-based competitors. The cases have resonated against a backdrop of a U.S.-China trade war, in which theft of intellectual property is a key sticking point. 

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