TL;DR: China media outlet Caixin claimed an actual in-person struggle for a disputed legal license, to represent bitcoin mining giant Bitmain in Beijing, was fought over recently at the issuing agency’s office. It’s the latest wrinkle in an on-going battle for control over the company … especially as a widely-anticipated bull market appears around the corner.
Bitmain Beijing License Brawl
The globe’s biggest bitcoin mining company continues to make news in China as legal jockeying works its way through various venues. Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan, ousted late last year from the company in sudden and rather dramatic fashion by once-ally Jihan Wu, again attempted to assert his claim to be its true head.
Zhan is considered among the largest Bitmain shareholders, if not the single largest, and has not gone away quietly after Wu’s re-assumption. Early this year, for example, Zhan filed suit in the Cayman Islands over internal voting rules. The struggle has also found its way to the mining giant’s home turf of Beijing, China. Apparently, Zhan was victorious in the Beijing jurisdiction recently, as a magistrate awarded return of a legal representation license to Zhan after yet another court gave it over to the Wu-preferred Luyao Liu, a company insider.
That brings us to the Caixin revelation this week. Google translate relays how Zhan made his way down to the relevant local agency or bureau to pick up the license. While there, allegedly Liu and others protested vehemently, insisting such a license was reserved to Bitmain’s sole discretion and not to a single person. The confrontation worryied officials enough to warrant summoning local police.
In response to media accounts and rumors of the altercation, Bitmain issued a formal statement on the matter. It reiterated its contention that handing over a license to Zhan was an error by the court, that doing so “seriously violates the provisions of the ‘Company Law'” rules normally observed in China. “Liu Luyao is the current legal representative” of Bitmain, the company stressed. “During this period, our company will not recognize any acts [of Zhan pretending] to be the legal representative of [Bitmain], and [reserve] the right to pursue [Zhan]” in future proceedings.
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