Oct 30 (Reuters) – Self-driving truck startup TuSimple Holdings Inc ( TSP.O ) is under investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Foreign Investment Committee over its relationship with China-backed Hydron Inc. The Wall Street Journal reported this on Sunday.
Officials are looking into 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 the matter.
They are also trying to determine whether TuSimple shared intellectual property developed in the United States with Hydron and whether that action defrauded TuSimple investors by sending valuable technology to foreign adversaries, the paper said.
Founded by TuSimple co-founder Mo Chen in June, Hydron is committed to developing, manufacturing and selling hydrogen-powered trucks equipped with L4 self-driving technology, according to its website.
TuSimple’s board launched its own investigation in July, looking into whether the company cultivated Hydron in China, including by funding and transferring technology to the startup without informing regulators, TuSimple’s board or its shareholders, the WSJ said, citing others familiar with the matter. of the case.
A TuSimple spokesperson told the WSJ that the company is not aware of any FBI or SEC investigations and that Hou was never an employee of Hydron or received payments from Hydron. Hou also has no financial interest in the company.
TuSimple revealed in its prospectus last year that Chinese social media company Sina Corp’s investment in TuSimple had been subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
TuSimple and the SEC did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the report.
Juby Babu reports in Bengaluru; Editing: Sandra Maler
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