Micree Ketuan Zhan made a promise to fight for control of Bitmain after the company’s board ousted him last year. He appears to be making good on that promise. Earlier this week, reports indicated that he now controls the offices of the cryptocurrency mining giant in Beijing as he gears up for what could be a lengthy fight.
Zhan Prepares to Steer the Ship
BlockBeats, a Chinese tech publication, reported that Zhan successfully took over Bitmain’s Beijing office on June 3 after he stormed the complex with private guards. The report cited a video, which has since gone viral on various media channels across the country.
Dovey Wan, the founder of Primitive Ventures and a notable blockchain insider in China, confirmed the story in a social media post. In an update, she shared a letter from Zhan, which showed that he had successfully orchestrated the coup.
In the letter, Zhan claimed that he had resumed control of the Beijing office and urged employees to return to routine work in earnest. He added that while he and former co-founder Jihan Wu are still in the midst of the company’s legal battle, the process should get a resolution son enough.
Lastly, Zhan confirmed that Bitmain will branch into the blockchain and artificial intelligence spaces, while still developing chips. He also spilled on the company’s possible initial Public offering (IPO), saying that they planned to resume the listing process and were looking at a $50 billion valuation.
The Fight Isn’t Over Yet
The legal case between Wu and Zhan has been heating up for months. Ever since Zhan sued Bitmain over his stake in the company and his role as its authorized representative, both parties have openly staked their claims and traded blows.
The company itself stepped into the fight late last month, confirming in a social media statement that it had ousted Zhan in October 2019. Bitmain’s statement confirmed that the board had agreed to relieve Zhan of his duties as its chairman and legal representative. Thus, he had no right to represent the company in any capacity or issue instructions.
Company employees were also warned to disregard any statements from Zhan, as non-compliant workers would face legal action. Still, Zhan hasn’t backed down. The former chairman has turned his focus mainly to the Beijing office too. Early last month, local cryptocurrency news outlet Deepchain reported that Luyao Liu, the company’s chief financial officer and supposed legal representative, had partaken in a mob attack on Zhan outside the Beijing office.
Bitmain Beijing is reportedly the company’s largest subsidiary. Zhan had allegedly gone to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, where he got a business license for the subsidiary. Per reports, the license all but made Zhan Bitmain’s chief legal representative.
However, a group of masked men hassled him while he was at the parking lot. A tweet from Dovey Wan included a video that showed a run-in between two groups of men clad in black and face masks. Zhan might be in control of Bitmain Beijing for now, but there’s every indication that this isn’t the last we’ve heard about the company’s power struggle.