A Chinese company, Sinovel Wind Group Co., has been ordered to pay American SuperConducter Inc. (AMSC) $57.5 million after being convicted of multiple charges regarding the theft of proprietary software. This theft resulted in substantial losses for AMSC, including $800 million in revenue and $1 billion in stock market value. Today, the Chinese company has recently made its last installment payment of the agreed-upon settlement, however, the trade theft first began in 2011 in what was expected to be a profitable partnership between the two companies.
Originally, AMSC and Sinovel Wind Group Co. worked together in what seemed like a mutually beneficial business partnership. The agreement was that Sinovel Wind Group Co. would produce windmills and purchase $800 million in software from AMSC to control and operate the windmills. However, in 2011, Sinovel Wind Group Co. abruptly ended their agreement and claimed that they no longer needed the software from AMSC to control their windmills.