According to China Star Market, sources say Chinese custom bitmining chipmaker Bitmain ordered job cuts at the end of 2019 to stem losses. The cuts focused on its AI business. This is the second time Bitmain cut staff in one year, after laying off employees at the beginning of 2019.
In response to the China Star Market article, Bitmain told Sina News that the company was merely “undertaking normal personnel adjustments.” Bitmain’s spokesperson also claimed the company welcomes talented people from everywhere to join, as always.
Against the backdrop of falling Bitcoin prices, the cuts appear to undo a business direction championed by Bitmain’s former chairman Micree Zhan, who was also in charge of its AI business. Zhan was terminated from all his positions through an email notice sent to all employees in October 2019 by Wu Jihan, founder and CEO of Bitmain. The China Star Market article said reported that Wu organized a meeting last weekend requiring all departments to submit a list of jobs to be cut. The cuts are expected to be completed before the company’s annual meeting on January 17.
In December, Bitland held a shareholder meeting and said it would ensure orderly operations under the current board, chaired by Wu Jihan.
Founded in 2013, Bitmain is a Beijing based company doing cryptocurrency- and artificial intelligence-related business, with an annual profit of about $3-4 billion. The company received investments from Sequoia Capital and International Data Group.