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Crypto mining giant Bitmain lets Hong Kong IPO application lapse

[HONG KONG] Bitmain Technologies Ltd, the world's biggest producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, has let its application for Hong Kong initial public offering lapse.

The virtual currency mining firm's listing application, which was initially filed in September, expired on Tuesday, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange's website. The Beijing-based company was targeting to raise as much as US$3 billion, Bloomberg News has reported.

"We do recognise that despite the huge potential of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, it remains a relatively young industry which is proving its value," Bitmain said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday. "We hope regulatory authorities, media and the general public can be more inclusive to this young industry."

The company will restart the listing application work at an appropriate time in the future, according to the statement. Bitmain also named Haichao Wang as its new chief executive officer, while co-founders Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu will remain directors of the company, Tuesday's statement shows.

Bitmain is the second crypto hardware firm to face hurdles in pursing a listing in Hong Kong as a fall in the price of Bitcoin makes it more difficult for the industry to attract stock-market investors. The city's stock exchange and market regulators consider IPOs by cryptocurrency firms to be "premature" until a proper regulatory framework is in place, the South China Morning Post reported in December, citing unidentified people.

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Canaan Inc, a smaller rival to Bitmain, is considering selling shares in the US after its Hong Kong IPO application expired, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Ebang International Holdings Inc, the smallest of the three, is still pursing a Hong Kong listing.

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