TuSimple questioned by FBI and SEC over ties to Chinese startup – WSJ


Adds details from WSJ report

October 30 (Reuters)Self-Driving Truck Startup TuSimple Holdings Inc TSP.O is under investigation by the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Foreign Investment Committee over its relationship with China-backed Hydron Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday .

Officials are investigating whether TuSimple and its executives, particularly chief executive Xiaodi Hou, violated fiduciary duties and securities laws by failing to properly disclose the relationship with Hydron, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with it. folder.

They are also trying to find out whether TuSimple shared U.S.-developed intellectual property with Hydron and whether that action defrauded TuSimple investors by sending valuable technology to a foreign adversary, the newspaper said.

Launched by TuSimple co-founder Mo Chen in June, Hydron is committed to developing, manufacturing and selling hydrogen trucks equipped with L4 self-driving technology, according to its website.

TuSimple’s board launched its own investigation in July, to determine whether the company had incubated Hydron in China, including funding and transferring technology to the startup without notifying regulators, TuSimple’s board or its shareholders, WSJ said, citing other people familiar with the matter.

A TuSimple spokesperson told the WSJ that the company was not aware of any FBI or SEC investigations and that Hou had never been a Hydron employee or received any payment from Hydron. Hou also has no financial interest in the company.

TuSimple disclosed in its IPO prospectus last year that its backer in Chinese social media company Sina Corp’s investments in TuSimple were subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

TuSimple and the SEC did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters on the report.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

((Juby.Babu@thomsonreuters.com;))

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