Exiled Bitmain Co-Founder Is Fighting Back With Second Lawsuit

Micree Ketuan Zhan, the ousted co-founder of Bitmain, has filed another lawsuit in his fight to regain control of the bitcoin mining giant – this time in his home country.

A recent notice from the Changle District court in China’s Fujian province indicates Zhan has filed a lawsuit against Bitmain’s fully-owned subsidiary Fujian Zhanhua Intelligence Technologies, as well as Beijing Bitmain Technologies as a related third party.

A hearing of the case was scheduled on Feb. 11, according to the notice, although it’s likely postponed due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. While it’s not clear what the exact allegations are, the court says the case relates to a “shareholder qualification confirmation dispute.”

The case adds to the ongoing litigation in the Cayman Islands Zhan has filed against the company that he co-founded with Jihan Wu in 2013, casting further uncertainty on the outcome of the power struggle at the world’s largest miner maker as well as its planned initial public offering in the U.S.

Zhan filed a lawsuit in December in the Caymans, where Bitmain’s parent holding entity is registered, asking a court to void a decision allegedly passed at a shareholder meeting that significantly curtailed his voting power.

Lawyers representing Zhan in the Cayman Islands previously told CoinDesk that Zhan, as a major shareholder, was not aware of the meeting beforehand, and a hearing for the case might be scheduled after the Easter holiday.

Asset protection

The lawsuit in China also followed an asset-protection petition filed by Zhan and approved by the same court in December but the court’s full judgement was not made public until last Thursday.

The court sided with Zhan to freeze 36 percent of Fujian Zhanhua’s 10 million yuan incorporated shares owned by Bitmain, worth 3.6 million yuan, or $500,000. Though the value of the frozen assets may be negligible for Bitmain, the percentage could be significant.

Fujian Zhanhua is 100…

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