Bitmain Co-Founder Eyes to Regain Control, Wins Partial Legal Battle

Micree Ketuan Zhan, Bitmain’s ousted co-founder and former chairman, has partially won the battle over his legal representation of the Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer.

In a statement, Bitmain revealed that the Beijing Haidian District Bureau of Justice approved on Tuesday Zhan’s request to block the company from registering CFO Luyao Liu as the legal representative of its Beijing branch.

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Previously, Zhan was the legal representative of Bitmain, however, with his departure from the firm last year, he also lost his position. Jihan Wu, Bitcoin’s other co-founder and also the CEO, took over as the company’s legal representative.

In January, Bitmain announced that Liu was named as Bitmain’s legal representative to “improve internal management efficiency.”

Zhan appealed the decision in February and asked the bureau to register him as Bitmain’s legal representative again.

Though the bureau did not reinstate him to his previous position, it reversed the naming of Liu from Wu as the company’s legal representative.

“We deeply regret the decision and think the bureau has violated corporate laws, and our company’s autonomy via administrative measures,” Bitmain said in a statement.

The company also pointed out that it has the authority to change Beijing subsidiary’s legal representative as Bitmain is its sole shareholder.

“We will file a lawsuit against the bureau to protect our company, shareholders, and employees,” Bitmain added.

Struggle to regain control

Meanwhile, Zhan also filed two lawsuits against Bitmain over its decision to oust him from the company.

The first one was filed in December 2019 in the Cayman Islands, where Bitmain’s holding entity is registered in a first attempt to overturn a decision by shareholders to significantly weaken Zhan’s voting power.

The second was brought in last month against one of the company’s subsidiaries in a Chinese court.

Notably, Zhan is still the majority shareholder of the company, with close to 4 million B shares, according to a 2018 IPO prospectus.

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