U.S. charges Chinese wind company with stealing trade secrets

A Chinese wind turbine maker, Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd <601558.SS>, was charged with stealing trade secrets from U.S. company AMSC , the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin leveled theft returned an indictment leveling theft charges on Sinovel, two of its employees, and a former employee of AMSC, a Devens, Massachusetts-based company that provided wind turbine design, engineering services and power electronics and controls to Sinovel. Authorities said the theft allegedly cost AMSC $800 million.

Sinovel officials were not immediately available for comment.

In a statement, AMSC called on President Barack Obama's administration and Congress to re-evaluate the U.S. trade relationship with China.

"These criminal acts have led to significant financial harm to AMSC, its employees and their families as well as its shareholders. Over the past two years, more than 500 staff members worldwide have lost their jobs following Sinovel's egregious and unlawful behavior," AMSC Chief Executive Daniel McGahn said.

Sinovel was once AMSC's biggest customer, accounting for about 80 percent of its sales.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by David Gregorio)