The New York-listed company on Wednesday declared bankrupt and will reportedly reorganise.
Suntech was once the world's largest solar panel producer and last week the company's board ousted founder Chinese-born Australian businessman Shi Zhengrong after 12 years in which he led it from nothing to world market domination and then to the edge of ruin.
Suntech defaulted on repayments for a $541 million bond issue.
At one point the solar giant had as many as 10,000 employees in its hometown of Wuxi and even set up a small assembly plant in the US.
Chinese producers have flooded the global market since 2010 and trade disputes over alleged Chinese dumping caused a sudden and spectacular reversal of fortunes for Suntech.
The firm recorded a net loss of $1.0 billion in 2011, from a profit of $237 million in 2010.
It has yet to report financial results for 2012.
Image: © Suntech
Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.