Jihan Wu, the head of Bitmain, the largest mining equipment manufacturer, and the worldwide known “face” of the company for years, left the board of directors of Bitmain. Now he will not be able to participate in the decision-making process.

Jihan Wu falls victim to corporate pressure

The main speaker of the mining giant Bitmain and one of its co-founders, Jihan Wu, lost his place on the board of directors by moving to the position of supervisor, the Chinese news portal 8btc reports, citing registrar documents. According to the documents, Wu, along with three other representatives, resigned from the board of directors. Now he will not be able to take part in the decision-making process and will not be directly involved in the management of the company. These changes took effect on 7 November.

“As a director, Jihan had the right to vote when the board makes decisions. However, after changing to a supervisor, his power becomes smaller that he can no longer vote. As thus, Wu will be unable to participate in the business decision-making but only serve as a supervisor,” a third-party lawyer who was interviewed by 8btc journalists explained the consequences of such a move.

The company did not report the exit of Jihan Wu from the board of directors and has not yet commented on this information. According to rumors, this step was pushed by an internal corporate conflict with another Bitmain co-founder, Micree Zhan, who advocates a different strategy for the company’s development and urges to rely on product development in the field of artificial intelligence and chips for AI.

Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan

The Chinese mining company Bitmain was founded in 2013 by Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan. Zhan is Bitmain's largest shareholder holding 36.58% worth approximately $5.1 billion. Wu's share is smaller, he holds 20.5% worth $2.9 billion. Both of them were included in the list of the richest people in China this year.

Zhan is considered to be the technical genius of Bitmain. It was he who developed the main product of the company, ASICs. According to Forbes, he received a bachelor's degree from the University of Shandong with a degree in electrical engineering, and he graduated from the Institute of Microelectronics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2004. For several years he worked at Tsinghua University, after that he moved to private Unitend Technologies, where he led the development of specialized chips for digital television. In 2010, Zhan founded his own startup DivaIP Technologies, which was engaged in the development of TV set-top boxes. It was then when he met Jihan Wu, who recently graduated from Peking University in economics and psychology. If Zhan was responsible for the technical part, then Wu took upon himself the main problem of the startup - funding. According to 8btc, Wu in 2013 was the first to translate bitcoin's White Paper into Chinese.

The headquarters of Bitmain is located in Beijing, there are also representative offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, USA, Israel, Switzerland, etc. The company is engaged in the production of mining equipment and also manages one of the largest bitcoin pools Antpool and BTC.com. In June of this year, Jihan Wu announced that the company plans to go public via IPO. According to later revealed, the company's approximate operating income for 2017 amounted to $3-4 billion.