This Apple employee is so secretive he signs his emails with a question mark – LISA EADICICCO Aug. 15, 2015, 8:17 AM

Customers stand beneath an Apple logo at the Apple store in Grand Central station in New York City, July 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Thomson Reuters — Customers with an Apple logo at the Apple store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Apple is known for being extremely secretive not only to the public, but internally as well.

Employees learn information on a need-to-know basis, which means you’re only given the exact amount of insight you need to do your job.

So if you’re a hardware engineer, you probably won’t have any clue as to what an engineer on the software team is working on.

But one Apple employee on Apple’s Special Projects team is so secretive it seems he doesn’t want anyone to know what he’s up to. Engineer Frank Fearon’s email signature consists of just a question mark, The Guardian wrote in their recent story about Apple’s rumored car project (emphasis is ours):

While one of the engineers corresponding with GoMentum Station admits to belonging to Apple’s Special Projects group, Fearon signs his emails with a cryptic question-mark icon.

It’s not uncommon for Apple employees to remain vague about their work. In fact, Apple puts new employees and interns through “secrecy training” when they’re hired, a former intern told Business Insider in a previous interview.

“You can’t tell anyone anything about your job,” this former intern said. “You can’t tell people outside of your family what you’re working on.”

This can make it hard to work effectively since you can’t communicate what you’re working on to people on other teams, said the former intern, who asked to only be referred to as Brad.

Here’s what Simon Woodside, a former Apple employee, wrote on Quora about the secrecy at Apple:

Having all these secrets was difficult from my perspective. I couldn’t really engage in idle banter with my colleagues for fear of slipping something out.

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Dragon Net China’s Next Economic Miracle – By Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong – NOVEMBER 17, 2014

An Apple store in Pudong, the financial district of Shanghai, February 29, 2012. (Carlos Barria / Courtesy Reuters)

With 632 million Internet users, China has already become the world’s largest e-tailing market, with almost $300 billion in sales posted in 2013. Although digital marketplaces have changed the face of Chinese retail, however, other major sectors such as manufacturing and healthcare have been much slower to embrace the Internet. China’s digital transformation is just beginning, which means that over the next few years, the world’s second-largest economy will radically transform the way it does business. And as new research from the McKinsey Global Institute projects, that change (from the adoption of online marketing and supply-chain management to cutting-edge innovations such as big data analytics and the Internet of Things) could fuel as much as 22 percent of China’s total GDP growth through 2025. How much of this potential China will actually see depends on the government’s ability to create a supportive policy environment, the willingness of companies to go digital, and the adaptability of workers.

As of 2012, only about a quarter of China’s small and medium-sized enterprises had begun to use the Internet for functions such as procurement, sales, and marketing. When they do go online, they and larger companies alike will be able to streamline their operations, find new ways to collaborate, and expand their reach via e-commerce. These types of changes are beginning to ripple through traditional industries outside the tech sector, translating into faster productivity growth.

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