Bitcoin mining chip maker Canaan mulls US IPO


HONG KONG • Canaan Inc, China’s second-biggest maker of bitcoin mining hardware, is considering listing in the US after shelving plans for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese company, which was earlier targeting to raise about US$1 billion (RM4.1 billion), is discussing the possibility of selling shares in New York as soon as the first half, according to the people. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Canaan’s Hong Kong listing application lapsed in November. Jianping Kong, the company’s co-chairman, declined to comment.

Bitcoin has fallen 79% from its record high in December 2017, making it more difficult for cryptocurrency companies to attract stock-market investors and less profitable for miners to generate new coins. Bitmain Technologies Holding Co, the largest maker of specialised mining chips for the industry, and smaller rival Ebang International Holdings Inc also filed for Hong Kong IPOs last year.

Beijing-based Canaan, founded in 2013, sells computer equipment under the “Avalon” brand with fast customised chips that win digital coins by solving complex math problems. It reported 1.31 billion yuan (RM786 million) of revenue in 2017, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing in May 2018.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International Capital Ltd were joint sponsors of Canaan’s proposed Hong Kong listing, the filing shows.