Bitmain’s ongoing court drama with co-founder Micree Zhan isn’t going well. After losing a decision in a Changle District Court in China’s Fujian process, the mining company has strongly condemned his actions, crying that he’s interfering with the company’s operation during this precarious pandemic moment.
On the company’s Weibo, they posted the following on April 27: “Zhan ignored the common interests of the company and all employees and filed a lawsuit maliciously during the period of the [coronavirus] pandemic, which interfered with the company’s normal operations and [affected growth].”
In March, Zhan won a decision to have 36% of Bitmain’s shares in Fujian Zhanhua’s frozen. Fujian Zhanhua is a subsidiary of Bitmain, of which Zhan continues to be the largest shareholder with 36%. The move helps protect Zhan’s position as the largest shareholder of the company.
However, he’s no longer in control. In an October coup, Jihan Wu wrestled control of the company away from Zhan, using some tricky corporate shenanigans to make himself the official legal representative, a significant position in a Chinese corporation. Zhan has been battling to win back some control since then.
Despite his victory, Bitmain claims the court ruling is “only a procedural jurisdiction ruling.” They believe the tide may turn in their favor before all is said and done.
“Zhan said he holds 36% of the equity of Fujian Zhanhua, with no facts and legal basis,” said Bitmain. Despite whatever impact this has on their production during COVID-19, as they cry earlier in the statement, they insist “the result of this case will not have any impact on Bitmain’s normal production and operation, nor will it affect Bitmain’s absolute controlling interest in Fujian Zhanhua.”
Using the coronavirus to get pity points shouldn’t work on anyone with some memory of the before times. In January, far before the effects of COVID-19 could be seen, Bitmain was already laying off staff, believing it was in the best interests of the company’s future health with the BTC block halving just around the corner. Zhan criticized the decision at the time, stating the company was healthy enough to compete with its full roster of employees.
That came after more than a year of layoffs, suggesting Bitmain wasn’t a healthy company at all. While COVID-19 probably didn’t help matters, for Bitmain to claim Zhan is now making things worse, at the worst possible time, is laughable.
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