Former Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu speaking at the World Digital Mining Summit in 2019
Former Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu speaking at the World Digital Mining Summit in 2019. Yahoo! Finance

The power struggle at Bitmain continues, as the company’s CFO Luyao Liu reportedly gets arrested for taking part in a mob attack on the exiled co-founder of the company, Chinese news source Caixin said on 8 May.

According to the report, Micree Ketuan Zhan, the ousted co-founder of Bitmain, was recently granted the right to take back his status as the legal representative of Beijing Bitmain by the Beijing Haidian District Justice Bureau. As he attended the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce to collect his new registration license, he was allegedly surrounded by a group of men, including Bitmain’s CFO Liu Luyao, who then took possession of the license.

Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Ventures, commented on the incident this morning saying that Zhan was literally “robbed” of his license on the spot. She additionally attached a video clip to her tweet, which showed the alleged confrontation (above). Both parties were later taken to the police station, after the Justice Bureau reported the incident to the police.

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Later in the day Bitmain issued a statement, saying that although the public registration documents apparently show Zhan as the legal representative of Bitmain Beijing, that was a “registration error”, claiming his labor contract was terminated on 28 October last year.

The firm further said:

“We recognize Liu Luyao as the currently effective legal representative of Beijing Bitmain. During this period, we will not acknowledge any action taken by Zhan Ketuan as a legal representative of Beijing Bitmain and reserve the rights to file legal claims against Zhan and related parties.”

Bitmain’s registration documents show Liu as the current legal representative of the firm, being appointed to that position by Jihan Wu earlier this year. Wu abandoned his position as CEO in 2018, taking a non-executive role on the company’s board. Liu’s appointment as legal representative was recently overruled by the Beijing Haidian District Bureau of Justice, after Zhan appealed the decision, which allowed him to apply for the new license.

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