Xiaomi founder and Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun was linked to the world’s largest manufacturer of Bitcoin mining equipment – Beijing, China-based Bitmain. The connection was made as part of discoveries stemming from the analysis of the Paradise Papers, the second biggest data leak in history comprising 1.4TB of data spanning 13.4 million confidential digital documents pertaining to offshore investments that German media outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung acquired earlier this year, with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) making them public last month. The leaked documents are understood to have been obtained from offshore investment service providers Appleby and Asiaciti Trust, as well as company registers of 19 tax havens around the world.
The link between Mr. Jun and Bitmain is somewhat convoluted, with the Paradise Papers identifying the 47-year-old billionaire as the individual who controls Colorful Mi Ltd and Red Better Ltd, two offshore entities seemingly incorporated under Beijing Changtong Wuxian Consulting Company, a Chinese holding group. The same organization appears to own Wu Ji Han & Co Ltd, a firm controlled by Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu. Likewise, the other Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan is listed as a director of Bitmain Cowin Inc and DivaIPTV Ltd, both of which are related to the same holding company. The final relevant entity established under the corporate umbrella of Beijing Changtong is Successful Cool Ltd whose chief hasn’t been identified but that’s been confirmed as being a stakeholder in BitMain Technologies Holding Company.
The connection between Mr. Jun and Bitmain is significant because one of China’s richest entrepreneurs never publicly pledged support to cryptocurrencies, yet appears to be directly involved in a valuable corporation with stakes in such technologies. All of the involved parties are yet to issue a comment on the matter in any capacity and are unlikely to do so in the immediate future. Bitmain itself is believed to be one of the most profitable cryptocurrency companies on the planet that not only manufactures custom mining rigs and chips powering them but also leases its computational power to other firms. Its mining farms are estimated to generate billions in revenue on an annual basis, with the company often being named as one of the safest investments in the cryptocurrency industry.