Bitcoin Miner Maker Canaan Drops 3 Directors in Possible Boardroom Coup

Sources speaking to Chinese media said a dispute at Canaan Creative has led to a power grab by now-Executive Director Nangeng Zhang.

AccessTimeIconJul 9, 2020 at 4:03 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:09 a.m. UTC

Directors of Canaan Creative, a publicly listed bitcoin miner manufacturer, were suddenly dropped from the company's business registry, prompting speculation of a power grab.

  • The company's official Chinese business registry now lists Nangeng Zhang as the company's sole director.
  • Zhang's title has also changed from chairman and general manager to executive director and general manager.
  • He joined Canaan as CEO in 2015.
  • Four executives in total – Co-chairman Jianping Kong, founder and CFO Jiaxuan Li, non-executive director Qifeng Sun and public affairs director Songhua Tu – have been removed from the registry.
  • All but Songhua Tu had previously been listed as company directors.
  • Both Kong and Li are still listed on the registry as part of Canaan's "core team."
  • According to the registry's changelog, the update took place on July 6.
  • Sources speaking to Chinese media said Canaan is wracked by an internal struggle between Zhang, who is based in Beijing, and the directors at the company's headquarters in the southern city of Hangzhou.
  • It's unclear what's behind the dispute, but there's speculation it could be over Canaan's long-term strategy.
  • Some have compared the takeover at Canaan to the bitter conflict currently raging between the two co-founders of rival bitcoin miner maker Bitmain.
  • Bitmain's Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu have been struggling over who controls the company for months.
  • Canaan reported a net revenue loss of nearly $150 million in 2019 and another loss of $5.6 million in Q1 2020.
  • Listed on Nasdaq, Canaan's share price has more than halved since the bitcoin halving event to under $2 at press time.
  • Canaan has not yet updated the Securities and Exchange Commission with the changes in senior management.
  • The last significant filing was the company's annual report on April 15, which still lists the original board of directors.


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