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Self-driving truck startup TuSimple fires its CEO over improper ties to a Chinese language agency

TuSimple, partly owned by UPS, makes self-driving vehicles, a know-how that could be among the many improvements to assist decrease longer-run inflation within the transport sector.

Supply: TuSimple

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple has fired its CEO, Xiaodi Hou, after an inner investigation discovered improper dealings and potential tech switch to a Chinese language agency led by TuSimple’s now-departed co-founder, the corporate stated Monday.

The San Diego-based startup’s operations chief, Ersin Yumer, will function interim CEO and president whereas TuSimple’s board of administrators searches for a everlasting successor. Hou was additionally the corporate’s chief know-how officer.

Shares of TuSimple have been down greater than 40% in early buying and selling following the information.

TuSimple stated in a regulatory submitting Monday that based mostly on an investigation by its board of administrators, it believes a few of its workers spent paid hours in 2021 working for Hydron, a Chinese language startup creating autonomous hydrogen-powered vehicles. These workers shared confidential info with Hydron earlier than a nondisclosure settlement was signed, TuSimple stated.

The board’s investigation started in July and is ongoing, the corporate stated.

The corporate’s relationship to Hydron is underneath investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Change Fee, in response to a report Monday by The Wall Avenue Journal. Investigators are inspecting whether or not TuSimple’s management didn’t make required disclosures about its transactions with Hydron and whether or not the dealings harmed TuSimple buyers, in response to the report.

TuSimple did not instantly reply to a request for touch upon the report of federal probes.

Hydron was based in 2021 by Mo Chen, a co-founder of TuSimple who had beforehand served as its govt chairman. Hydron initially introduced plans to construct electrical vehicles powered by hydrogen gasoline cells in North America, however its operations have thus far been principally in China.

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