After physically taking over the Beijing Bitmain office, ousted CEO Micree Zhan is reportedly regaining control and is blocking the delivery of Bitmain products from its Shenzhen factory.
According to sources of Chinese publication BlockBeats, Zhan issued an order prohibiting employees from shipping products to Bitmain’s customers. The reason for doing so remains unclear.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Zhan appears to have re-obtained the legal representative position of the Bitmain mainland China subsidiary, which is formally owned by a Hong Kong holding, which remains under the control of Jihan Wu.
Jihan Wu’s response
A statement coming from Jihan Wu’s side of the company on June 9 sought to reassure employees that the situation is under control. The co-founder said that they are solving the situation through legal channels, referring to unspecified damage caused by Zhan.
The rest of the statement reassures employees that all damages they may suffer will be compensated by Bitmain, and urged them to “work together to protect Bitmain.”
The statement appears to be a reflection of the long-standing feud between Zhan and Wu, who seek to gain the support of the company’s employees.
The confrontation between Zhan and Wu began in October 2019, when the latter proclaimed to have returned at Bitmain’s helm to “save the ship,” ousting Zhan.
Zhan claimed that this was done in an illegal manner, and subsequently began a long battle to return at the helm of the company, launching multiple lawsuits in the process.
The situation appears to have taken a turn for the worse for Wu in May, after reports came out that a brawl erupted in Beijing to snatch the company’s official seal. Different reports suggest that this was more of a heated confrontation rather than an outright brawl, however.
At the end of May, Bitmain issued a statement that simply reaffirmed Zhan’s ousting, which suggested that the situation was not as secure as it seemed.
Recent actions in June saw Zhan gain ground in the confrontation as he resorted to force, and now appears to have gained enough control to at least partially disrupt Bitmain’s operations, which was until then working normally.