SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
ACT OF 1934
the year ended
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report_________________
For the transition period from to
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the transition report: ordinary shares, par value $0.001 per share, as of December 31, 2021.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
|Large accelerated filer ☐|
|Non-accelerated filer ☐||Emerging
growth company |
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act:
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness
of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered
public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
Financial Reporting Standards as issued by
the International Accounting Standards Board ☐
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
☐ Item 17 ☐ Item 18
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934).
(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.
☐ Yes ☐ No
MOXIAN (BVI) INC
FORM 20-F ANNUAL REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Item 1.||Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers||1|
|Item 2.||Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable||1|
|Item 3.||Key Information||2|
|Item 4.||Information on The Company||40|
|Item 4A.||Unresolved Staff Comments||51|
|Item 5.||Operating and Financial Review and Prospects||51|
|Item 6.||Directors, Senior Management and Employees||51|
|Item 7.||Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions||56|
|Item 8.||Financial Information||57|
|Item 9.||The Offer and Listing||57|
|Item 10.||Additional Information||58|
|Item 11.||Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk||69|
|Item 12.||Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities||69|
|Item 13.||Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies||69|
|Item 14.||Material Modifications to The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds||69|
|Item 15.||Controls and Procedures||70|
|Item 16A.||Audit Committee Financial Expert||73|
|Item 16B.||Code of Ethics||73|
|Item 16C.||Principal Accountant Fees and Services||74|
|Item 16D.||Exemptions from The Listing Standards for Audit Committees||74|
|Item 16E.||Purchases of Equity Securities by The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers||74|
|Item 16F.||Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant||74|
|Item 16G.||Corporate Governance||74|
|Item 16H.||Mine Safety Disclosure||74|
|ITEM 16I.||Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections||74|
|Item 17.||Financial Statements||75|
|Item 18||Financial Statements||75|
In this annual report on Form 20-F, unless otherwise indicated, “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company,” “Moxian BVI” and “Moxian” refer to Moxian (BVI) Inc, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, its predecessor entity and its subsidiaries, including its offshore subsidiaries and PRC subsidiaries.
References to “offshore subsidiaries” are to:
|●||Moxian CN Group Limited (“Moxian Samoa”), a company established under the laws of Samoa and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian;|
|●||Woodland Corporation Limited (“Woodland”), a company established under the laws of Hong Kong SAR and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian;|
|●||Moxian (Hong Kong) Limited (“Moxian HK”), a company established under the laws of Hong Kong SAR and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian Group Limited;|
|●||Moxian Group Limited, a company established under the laws of the British Virgin Islands and wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian Samoa;|
|●||Moxian Malaysia Sdn.Bhd, a company established under the laws of Malaysia and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian HK; and|
|●||Abit USA, Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company.|
References to “PRC subsidiaries” are to:
|●||Moxian Technology Services (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd (“Moxian Shenzhen”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian HK;|
|●||Moxian Technology Services (Beijing) Co. Ltd. (“Moxian Beijing”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian Shenzhen;|
|●||Moxian Technology Services (Shanghai) Co. Ltd (“Moxian Shanghai”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moxian Shenzhen;|
|●||Beijing BitMarix Co. Ltd. (“BitMarix”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Woodland.|
Unless the context indicates otherwise, all references to “China” and the “PRC” refer to the People’s Republic of China, all references to “Renminbi” or “RMB” are to the legal currency of the People’s Republic of China, all references to “U.S. dollars,” “dollars” and “$” are to the legal currency of the United States. This annual report contains translations of Renminbi amounts into U.S. dollars at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this report could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.
This report contains “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that represent our beliefs, projections and predictions about future events. All statements other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements,” including any projections of earnings, revenue or other financial items, any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, any statements concerning proposed new projects or other developments, any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance, any statements of management’s beliefs, goals, strategies, intentions and objectives, and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “would”, “predicts”, “potential”, “continue”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “future”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “estimates” and similar expressions, as well as statements in the future tense, identify forward-looking statements.
These statements are necessarily subjective and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements described in or implied by such statements. Actual results may differ materially from expected results described in our forward-looking statements, including with respect to correct measurement and identification of factors affecting our business or the extent of their likely impact, and the accuracy and completeness of the publicly available information with respect to the factors upon which our business strategy is based or the success of our business.
Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times by which, our performance or results may be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and management’s belief as of that time with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, those factors discussed under the headings “Risk Factors”, “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects,” and elsewhere in this report.
ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
Not Applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F.
ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
Not Applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F.
ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION
Our Corporate Structure and the Operations of Our PRC Subsidiaries
Moxian (BVI) Inc, or Moxian BVI, is not a PRC operating company but a British Virgin Islands holding company with operations primarily conducted through its operating subsidiaries located in China and the United States. During the 2019, 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, substantially all of the business operations were conducted in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”) by our PRC subsidiaries. None of our PRC subsidiaries operates with a variable interest entity (“VIE”) structure, but Chinese regulatory authorities could disallow our current operating structure, which would likely result in a material change in our operations and/or cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or become worthless. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China — The Chinese government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which could result in a material change in our operations and/or cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.”
We face significant legal and operational risks and uncertainties relating to our subsidiaries’ operations in China. The Chinese government may intervene or influence the operation of our PRC subsidiaries and exercise significant oversight and discretion over the conduct of their business and may intervene in or influence their operations at any time, or may exert more control over securities offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which could result in a material change in operations of our PRC subsidiaries and/or the value of our common stock. Further, any actions by the Chinese government to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. Recently, the PRC government initiated a series of regulatory actions and statements to regulate business operations in China with little advance notice, including cracking down on illegal activities in the securities market, adopting new measures to extend the scope of cybersecurity reviews, and expanding the efforts in anti-monopoly enforcement. We do not believe that we are directly subject to these regulatory actions or statements, as we do not have a variable interest entity structure and our operations are not subject to cybersecurity review requirements, or involve any other type of restricted industry. In addition, starting from the first quarter of 2022, we have changed our primary business operations from digital advertising in China to bitcoin mining operations in the United States. Because these PRC government statements and regulatory actions are new, it is highly uncertain how soon legislative or administrative regulation making bodies in China will respond to them, or what existing or new laws or regulations will be modified or promulgated, if any, or the potential impact such modified or new laws and regulations will have on our daily business operations or our ability to accept foreign investments and list on an U.S. exchange.
Permissions Required from the PRC Authorities for Our Operations and Issuance of Securities
We conduct our business primarily through our subsidiaries, including our PRC subsidiaries in China. Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. Our digital advertising business operations are conducted by Moxian Technology Services (Beijing) Co. Ltd. (“Moxian Beijing”). Moxian Beijing is required to obtain a Business License and has obtained such license. The remaining subsidiaries have not been in active operations and are not currently required to obtain a license or permit from the government authorities. However, given the uncertainties of interpretation and implementation of relevant laws and regulations and the enforcement practice by government authorities, we cannot assure you that we have obtained all the permits or licenses required by the PRC government authorities for conducting our business in China. We may be required to obtain additional licenses, permits, filings or approvals for the functions and services in our business operations in the future. For more detailed information, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulation of internet- related or finance-related businesses and companies, and any lack of requisite approvals, licenses, permits or filings applicable to our business may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”
Furthermore, we are subject to PRC rules and regulations relating to overseas listing and securities offering, and a substantial extension of the PRC government’s oversight over our business operations or overseas listings may hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer our securities. Under current PRC laws, regulations and regulatory rules, we, our PRC subsidiaries may be required to obtain permissions from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC in connection with any future offering and listing on overseas capital markets.
On June 10, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China promulgated the Data Security Law which took effect on September 1, 2021. The Data Security Law provides for data security and privacy obligations of entities and individuals carrying out data activities, prohibits entities and individuals in China from providing any foreign judicial or law enforcement authority with any data stored in China without approval from the competent PRC authority, and sets forth the legal liabilities of entities and individuals found to be in violation of their data protection obligations, including rectification order, warning, fines of up to RMB10 million, suspension of relevant business, and revocation of business permits or licenses. The Data Security Law is relatively new, and therefore there are substantial uncertainties with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the law. We may need to adjust our operations to comply with data security requirements from time to time. If we were found to have violations, we may be ordered to rectify and terminate any actions that are deemed illegal by the government authorities and become subject to fines and other government sanctions, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
On July 6, 2021, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued the Opinions on Severe and Lawful Crackdown on Illegal Securities Activities, which took effect on the same day. These opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies. These opinions proposed to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems, to deal with the risks and incidents facing China-based overseas-listed companies and the demand for cybersecurity and data privacy protection. As of the date of this report, no official guidance and related implementation rules have been issued in relation to these recently issued opinions and the interpretation and implementation of these opinions remain unclear at this stage.
On July 10, 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China and other regulatory agencies issued the Revised Measures for Cybersecurity Review (the “Revised Cybersecurity Measures”), which was finalized in December 2021 and took effect on February 15, 2022. The Revised Cybersecurity Measures authorize the relevant government authorities to conduct cybersecurity review on a range of activities that affect or may affect national security, including listings in foreign countries by companies that possess personal data of more than one million users. The PRC National Security Law covers various types of national security, including technology security and information security. Given the nature of our business of digital advertising in China and the fact that none of our PRC subsidiaries is an “internet platform operator,” or runs an App, we believe that we are not subject to a cybersecurity review pursuant to the Revised Cybersecurity Measures.
On December 24, 2021, the CSRC issued Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) (the “Administration Provisions”), and the Provisions of the State Council on the Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) (the “Measures”). The Administration Provisions and Measures for overseas listings lay out specific requirements for filing documents and include unified regulation management, strengthening regulatory coordination, and cross-border regulatory cooperation. Domestic companies seeking to list abroad must carry out relevant security screening procedures if their businesses involve such supervision. Companies endangering national security are among those off-limits for overseas listings. According to Relevant Officials of the CSRC Answered Reporter Questions (“CSRC Answers”), after the Administration Provisions and Measures are implemented upon completion of public consultation and due legislative procedures, the CSRC will formulate and issue guidance for filing procedures to further specify the details of filing administration and ensure that market entities could refer to clear guidelines for filing, which means it will still take time to put the Administration Provisions and Measures into effect. As of the date of this report, the Administration Provisions and Measures have not yet come into effect. However, according to CSRC Answers, only new initial public offerings and financing by existing overseas listed Chinese companies will be required to go through the filing process; other overseas listed companies will be allowed sufficient transition period to complete their filing procedure. The Company may be required to obtain approval of and filling with the CSRC or other PRC government authorities for its future financing. However, it is uncertain when the Administration Provision and the Measures will take effect or if they will take effect as currently drafted. Currently, the period for public comment on these draft regulations has ended and their provisions and anticipated adoption or effective date are subject to changes and thus their interpretation and implementation remain substantially uncertain. It also remains unclear on whether a US-listed company, like us, is subject to the CSRC filing procedures, to maintain the listing of its securities in a foreign country. As of the date of this report, we cannot predict the impact of these regulations on maintaining the listing status of our ordinary shares and/or other securities, or any of our future offerings of securities in the overseas markets.
Based on PRC laws and regulations effective as of the date of this report and subject to different interpretations of these laws and regulations that may be adopted by PRC authorities, we believe that, as of the date of this report, we and our PRC subsidiaries are not required to obtain any permission from the CSRC, the CAC or any other PRC authority in connection with our securities offerings. As a result, we have not submitted any application to the CSRC, the CAC or other PRC authorities for the approval of our securities offerings. As of the date of this report, we and our PRC subsidiaries have not received any inquiry, notice, warning or objection in relation to our securities offerings from the CSRC, the CAC or any other PRC authorities. If we fail to obtain the relevant approval or complete other review or filing procedures for any future offshore offering or listing, we may face sanctions by the CSRC, CAC or other PRC regulatory authorities, which may include fines and penalties on our operations in China, limitations on our operating privileges in China, restrictions on or prohibition of the payments or remittance of dividends by our PRC subsidiaries, restrictions on or delays to our future financing transactions, or other actions that could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and prospects, as well as the trading price of our common shares. For more detailed information, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—The PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which could result in a material change in our operations and/or cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.”
Cash and Other Assets Transfers within our Organization and Dividend Distribution
Cash may be transferred within our organization in the following manners: (i) Moxian BVI may transfer funds to our subsidiaries, including our PRC subsidiaries, by way of capital contributions or loans, through intermediate holding companies or otherwise; (ii) we and our intermediate holding subsidiaries may provide loans to our operating subsidiaries and vice versa; and (iii) our subsidiaries may make dividends or other distributions to us through intermediate holding companies or otherwise. As a holding company, Moxian BVI, may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our subsidiaries for our cash and liquidity requirements. As of the date of this report, none of our subsidiaries has made any dividends or other distributions to Moxian BVI, nor have we ever made a dividend or distribution to our shareholders.
During the 2019, 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, no assets other than cash were transferred through our organization. Moxian BVI, through its intermediate holding companies, transferred approximately $3.1 million to its subsidiaries in China in fiscal year 2021.
Our subsidiaries presently intend to retain any earnings to fund their operations and business expansions. We do not anticipate paying dividends or other distributions to our shareholders in the foreseeable future.
The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act
Our common shares may be prohibited from trading on a national exchange or “over-the-counter” markets under the HFCAA if the PCAOB determines it is unable to inspect or investigate completely our auditors for three consecutive years beginning in 2021. Further, on June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (“AHFCAA”) and on February 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022, or the COMPETES Act. If either the AHFCAA or COMPETES Act is enacted into law, it would amend the HFCAA and require the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections or complete investigations for two consecutive years instead of three.
Pursuant to the HFCAA, the PCAOB issued a Determination Report on December 16, 2021 which found that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in: (1) mainland China and (2) Hong Kong. In addition, the PCAOB’s report identified the specific registered public accounting firms which are subject to these determinations. Since our auditor, Centurion ZD CPA & Co. is located in Hong Kong, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB found it has been unable to inspect or investigate completely the audit work by auditors because of a position taken by the authorities in Hong Kong, which may impact our ability to remain listed on a United States or other foreign exchange. The related risks and uncertainties could cause the value of our shares to significantly decline. For more details, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—The PCAOB is currently unable to inspect our auditor in relation to their audit work performed for our financial statements and the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections or investigation completely over our auditor deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections” and “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Our ordinary shares will be prohibited from trading in the United States under the HFCAA in 2024 if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or fully investigate auditors located in China, or as early as 2023 if proposed changes to the law are enacted. The delisting of our ordinary shares, or the threat of their being delisted, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment.”
The Company is the surviving company following a merger in August 2021 with its predecessor company, Moxian, Inc., which was incorporated in Nevada, U.S. As an offshore holding company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, we are qualified as a “foreign private issuer” within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act. As such, we are exempt from certain rules under the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers. Moreover, we are not required to provide as many Exchange Act reports, or as frequently or as promptly, as U.S. domestic issuers. We are also not required to provide the same level of disclosure on certain issues. In addition, as a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from that applied to the U.S. domestic issuers under the Nasdaq listing rules. These exemptions and practices may afford less protection to our shareholders than they would enjoy if we were a U.S. domestic issuer.
On December 28 2021, the shareholders of the Company approved a private placement of up to 20,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of $2.50 per share and to use the proceeds as working capital for a bitcoin mining business as the Company intended to diversify its business operations. Pursuant to these approvals, in February 2022, the Company issued 16,000,000 ordinary shares for aggregate gross proceeds of $40 million and acquired mining assets and related equipment for $29.8 million. On March 5, 2022 the first of these bitcoin mining machines began operation near Buffalo in the United States and the other machines will progressively be utilized in operation in the ensuing months.
Selected Financial Data
The Company has a December 31 fiscal year-end which is different from that of its predecessor company which fiscal year-end was September 30. Because of this change, the following table presents the selected consolidated financial information of our Company as of December 31, 2021, the transitional period for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and the fiscal years ended September 30, 2020 and 2019. The selected consolidated statements of operations data and the selected consolidated balance sheets data have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements, which are included in this annual report. These audited consolidated financial statements begin on F-1 and are prepared and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP. Our historical results do not necessarily indicate results expected for any future period. You should read the following selected financial data in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” included elsewhere in this report.
Summary Consolidated Statements of Operations:
|For the period ended|
|December 31, 2021||December 31, 2020||September 30, 2020||September 30, 2019|
|Adjustment for accrued expenses no longer required||
|Other income, net||126,290||-||-||-|
|Loss before income taxes||(2,739,850||)||(387,160)||72,716||300,455|
Summary Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
The following table presents our summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2021, December 31, 2020, September 30, 2020 and 2019.
|December 31,||December 31,||September 30,||September 30,|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||2,507,404||$||19,402||$||5,249||$||425,632|
|Total shareholders’ equity||$||6,567,016||$||91,280||$||400,773||$||148,687|
3B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not Applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F.
3C. Reasons for The Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not Applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F.
3D. Risk Factors
An investment in our ordinary shares involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all other information contained in this annual report, including the matters discussed under the headings “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” before you decide to invest in our ordinary shares. We are a holding company with operations in China and are subject to a legal and regulatory environment that in many respects differs from the United States. If any of the following risks, or any other risks and uncertainties that are not presently foreseeable to us, actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and our future growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
Summary Of Risk Factors
Our business is subject to a number of risks, including risks that may prevent us from achieving our business objectives or may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and prospects. These risks are discussed more fully below and include, but are not limited to, risks related to:
|●||Failure to manage our liquidity and cash flows may materially and adversely affect our financial conditions and results of operations. As a result, we may need additional capital, and financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.|
|●||We have a history of operating losses, and we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability; we have recently shifted our bitcoin mining business, and we may not be successful in this business.|
|●||Our results of operation may fluctuate significantly and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.|
|●||We may acquire other businesses, form joint ventures or acquire other companies or businesses that could negatively affect our operating results, dilute our stockholders’ ownership, increase our debt or cause us to incur significant expense; notwithstanding the foregoing, our growth may depend on our success in uncovering and completing such transactions.|
|●||From time to time we may evaluate and potentially consummate strategic investments or acquisitions, which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business and adversely affect our financial results.|
|●||We incur significant costs and demands upon management and accounting and finance resources as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies; if we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired, which could harm our operating results, our ability to operate our business and our reputation.|
|●||We face risks related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which could significantly disrupt our operations and financial results.|
Risks related to Bitcoin Mining
|●||Our results of operations are expected to vary with Bitcoin price volatility.|
|●||Our mining operating costs outpace our mining revenues, which could seriously harm our business or increase our losses.|
|●||We have an evolving business model which is subject to various uncertainties.|
|●||Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in us or restrict the use of cryptocurrencies in a manner that adversely affects our business, prospects or operations.|
|●||The development and acceptance of cryptographic and algorithmic protocols governing the issuance of and transactions in cryptocurrencies is subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate.|
|●||Banks and financial institutions may not provide banking services, or may cut off services, to businesses that engage in bitcoin-related activities or that accept cryptocurrencies as payment, including financial institutions of investors in our securities.|
|●||We may face risks of Internet disruptions, which could have an adverse effect on the price of cryptocurrencies.|
|●||Acceptance and/or widespread use of bitcoin is uncertain.|
|●||The decentralized nature of bitcoin systems may lead to slow or inadequate responses to crises, which may negatively affect our business.|
|●||Our bitcoins may be subject to loss, theft or restriction on access.|
|●||There is a lack of liquid markets, and possible manipulation of blockchain/bitcoin-based assets.|
|●||Incorrect or fraudulent bitcoin transactions may be irreversible.|
|●||Our reliance primarily on a single model of miner may subject our operations to increased risk of mine failure.|
|●||Our future success will depend in large part upon the value of bitcoin; the value of bitcoin may be subject to pricing risk and has historically been subject to wide swings.|
|●||Cryptocurrencies, including those maintained by or for us, may be exposed to cybersecurity threats and hacks.|
|●||We are subject to risks associated with our need for significant electrical power. Government regulators may potentially restrict the ability of electricity suppliers to provide electricity to mining operations, such as ours.|
|●||We may not adequately respond to price fluctuations and rapidly changing technology, which may negatively affect our business.|
Risks related to our Digital Advertising Business
|●||We are dependent on our relationship with Xinhua New Media.|
|●||We may not be able to attract new clients and retain key staff.|
|●||Our business is largely centered in Beijing and our services provided to our clients are geographically limited.|
Risks Involving Intellectual Property
|●||Bitcoin and bitcoin mining operations rely on software and specialized technology.|
|●||We may not be able to prevent others from unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could harm our business and competitive position.|
|●||We may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims, which may be expensive to defend and may disrupt our business and operations|
|●||Our platform and internal systems rely on software that is highly technical, and if it contains undetected errors, our business could be adversely affected.|
Risks Related to Doing Business in China
|●||Changes in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.|
|●||Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of Chinese laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to us.|
|●||The PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which could result in a material change in our operations and/or cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.|
|●||PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions conducted by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.|
|●||The PCAOB is currently unable to inspect our auditor in relation to their audit work performed for our financial statements and the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections or investigation completely over our auditor deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.|
|●||Our ordinary shares will be prohibited from trading in the United States under the HFCAA in 2024 if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or fully investigate auditors located in China, or as early as 2023 if proposed changes to the law are enacted. The delisting of our ordinary shares, or the threat of their being delisted, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment.|
|●||PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore special purpose companies by PRC residents may limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us|
|●||PRC regulation of loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may delay or prevent us from using offshore funds to make loans to our PRC subsidiaries, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries.|
|●||Regulatory bodies of the United States may be limited in their ability to conduct investigations or inspections of our operations in China.|
|●||Enhanced scrutiny over acquisition transactions by the PRC tax authorities may have a negative impact on potential acquisitions we may pursue in the future.|
|●||Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.|
Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares
|●||Our ordinary shares may be thinly traded and you may be unable to sell at or near ask prices or at all if you need to sell your shares to raise money or otherwise desire to liquidate your shares.|
|●||We are not likely to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future.|
|●||You may face difficulties in protecting your interests as a shareholder, as the laws of British Virgin Islands provides substantially less protection when compared to the laws of the United States and it may be difficult for a shareholder of ours to effect service of process or to enforce judgements obtained in the United States courts.|
|●||Volatility in our ordinary shares price may subject us to securities litigation.|
|●||We may be unable to comply with the applicable continued listing requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market, which may adversely impact our access to capital markets and may cause us to default certain of our agreements|
If we are unable to successfully execute our bitcoin mining, it would adversely affect our financial and business condition and results of operations.
As of the date of this Report, the Company has yet to fully implement its plan to diversify into bitcoin mining as various mining sites have not been finalized. If we cannot execute the bitcoin mining, it would seriously affect our financial and business condition and deepen the losses of the Company.
Failure to manage our liquidity and cash flows may materially and adversely affect our financial conditions and results of operations. As a result, we may need additional capital, and financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
The Company is new to bitcoin mining and is operating in the United States for the first time. If we fail to manage our liquidity and cash flows, it will seriously affect our financial condition and results of operations. We may need additional financing and such access may be limited or at unacceptable terms.
We have a history of operating losses, and we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability; we have recently shifted our bitcoin mining business, and we may not be successful in this business.
We are not profitable and have incurred losses since our inception. We expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future, and these losses could increase as we continue to work to develop our business. We were previously engaged in the business of mobile payments which we ceased operation in June 2018. Whilst we continue with the digital advertising business, it is proving to be increasingly difficult because of restrictions on online gaming. which is a key business of our clients. Starting in March 2022, we diversified into the bitcoin mining business. Our current strategy is new and unproven, is in an industry that is relatively itself new and evolving and is subject to the risks discussed below. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods.
Our results of operation may fluctuate significantly and may not fully reflect the underlying performance of our business.
Our results of operations, including the levels of our net revenues, expenses, net loss and other key metrics, may vary significantly in the future due to a variety of factors, some of which are outside of our control, and period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful, especially given our limited operating history. Accordingly, the results for any one quarter are not necessarily an indication of future performance. Fluctuations in quarterly results may adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly financial results include:
|●||the amount and timing of operating expenses related to our new business operations and infrastructure;|
|●||fluctuations in the price of bitcoin; and|
|●||general economic, industry and market conditions.|
We may acquire other businesses, form joint ventures or acquire other companies or businesses that could negatively affect our operating results, dilute our stockholders’ ownership, increase our debt or cause us to incur significant expense; notwithstanding the foregoing, our growth may depend on our success in uncovering and completing such transactions.
We are actively seeking other business opportunities, however, we cannot offer any assurance that acquisitions of businesses, assets and/or entering into strategic alliances or joint ventures will be successful. We may not be able to find suitable partners or acquisition candidates and may not be able to complete such transactions on favorable terms, if at all. If we make any acquisitions, we may not be able to integrate these acquisitions successfully into our existing infrastructure. In addition, in the event we acquire any existing businesses we could assume unknown or contingent liabilities.
Any future acquisitions also could result in the issuance of stock, incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or future write-offs of intangible assets or goodwill, any of which could have a negative impact on our cash flows, financial condition and results of operations. Integration of an acquired company may also disrupt ongoing operations and require management resources that otherwise would be focused on developing and expanding our existing business. We may experience losses related to potential investments in other companies, which could harm our financial condition and results of operations. Further, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, strategic alliance or joint venture if such investments do not materialize.
To finance any acquisitions or joint ventures, we may choose to issue ordinary shares, preferred stock or a combination of debt and equity as consideration, which could significantly dilute the ownership of our existing stockholders or provide rights to such preferred stock holders in priority over our common stock holders. Additional funds may not be available on terms that are favorable to us, or at all. If the price of our common stock is low or volatile, we may not be able to acquire other companies or fund a joint venture project using stock as consideration.
From time to time we may evaluate and potentially consummate strategic investments or acquisitions, which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business and adversely affect our financial results.
We may evaluate and consider strategic investments, combinations, acquisitions or alliances in both the bitcoin mining business. These transactions could be material to our financial condition and results of operations if consummated. If we are able to identify an appropriate business opportunity, we may not be able to successfully consummate the transaction and, even if we do consummate such a transaction, we may be unable to obtain the benefits or avoid the difficulties and risks of such transaction.
Strategic investments or acquisitions will involve risks commonly encountered in business relationships, including:
|●||difficulties in assimilating and integrating the operations, personnel, systems, data, technologies, products and services of the acquired business;|
|●||inability of the acquired technologies, products or businesses to achieve expected levels of revenue, profitability, productivity or other benefits;|
|●||difficulties in retaining, training, motivating and integrating key personnel;|
|●||diversion of management’s time and resources from our normal daily operations;|
|●||difficulties in successfully incorporating licensed or acquired technology and rights into our businesses;|
|●||difficulties in maintaining uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies within the combined organizations;|
|●||difficulties in retaining relationships with customers, employees and suppliers of the acquired business;|
|●||risks of entering markets, including the U.S., in which we have limited or no prior experience;|
We may not make any investments or acquisitions, or any future investments or acquisitions may not be successful, may not benefit our business strategy, may not generate sufficient revenues to offset the associated acquisition costs or may not otherwise result in the intended benefits. In addition, we cannot assure you that any future investment in or acquisition of new businesses or technology will lead to the successful development of new or enhanced loan products and services or that any new or enhanced loan products and services, if developed, will achieve market acceptance or prove to be profitable.
Our loss of any of our management team, our inability to execute an effective succession plan, or our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel, could adversely affect our business.
Our success and future growth will depend to a significant degree on the skills and services of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. We will need to continue to grow our management in order to alleviate pressure on our existing team and in order to continue to develop our business. If our management, including any new hires that we may make, fails to work together effectively and to execute our plans and strategies on a timely basis, our business could be harmed. Furthermore, if we fail to execute an effective contingency or succession plan with the loss of any member of management, the loss of such management personnel may significantly disrupt our business.
The loss of key members of management could inhibit our growth prospects. Our future success also depends in large part on our ability to attract, retain and motivate key management and operating personnel. As we continue to develop and expand our operations, we may require personnel with different skills and experiences, and who have a sound understanding of our business and the bitcoin industry. The market for highly qualified personnel in this industry is very competitive and we may be unable to attract such personnel. If we are unable to attract such personnel, our business could be harmed.
We incur significant costs and demands upon management and accounting and finance resources as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies; if we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired, which could harm our operating results, our ability to operate our business and our reputation.
As a public reporting company, we are required to, among other things, maintain a system of effective internal control over financial reporting. Ensuring that we have adequate internal financial and accounting controls and procedures in place so that we can produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis is a costly and time-consuming effort that needs to be re-evaluated frequently. Substantial work will continue to be required to further implement, document, assess, test and remediate our system of internal controls.
If our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, we may be unable to issue our financial statements in a timely manner, we may be unable to obtain the required audit or review of our financial statements by our independent registered public accounting firm in a timely manner or we may be otherwise unable to comply with the periodic reporting requirements of the SEC, our common stock listing on Nasdaq could be suspended or terminated and our stock price could materially suffer. In addition, we or members of our management could be subject to investigation and sanction by the SEC and other regulatory authorities and to stockholder lawsuits, which could impose significant additional costs on us and divert management attention.
Because cryptocurrencies may be determined to be investment securities, we may inadvertently violate the Investment Company Act and incur large losses as a result and potentially be required to register as an investment company or terminate operations and we may incur third party liabilities.
We are engaged in the mining of bitcoins which the SEC said is currency and not securities. We therefore believe that we are not engaged in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities, and we do not hold ourselves out as being engaged in those activities. However, under the Investment Company Act a company may be deemed an investment company under section 3(a)(1)(C) thereof if the value of its investment securities is more than 40% of its total assets (exclusive of government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis.
If, as a result of our investments and our mining activities, including investments in which we do not have a controlling interest, the investment securities we hold could exceed 40% of our total assets, exclusive of cash items and, accordingly, we could determine that we have become an inadvertent investment company. The bitcoins we own, acquire or mine may be deemed an investment security by the SEC, although we do not believe any of the cryptocurrencies we own, acquire or mine are securities. An inadvertent investment company can avoid being classified as an investment company if it can rely on one of the exclusions under the Investment Company Act. One such exclusion, Rule 3a-2 under the Investment Company Act, allows an inadvertent investment company a grace period of one year from the earlier of (a) the date on which an issuer owns securities and/or cash having a value exceeding 50% of the issuer’s total assets on either a consolidated or unconsolidated basis and (b) the date on which an issuer owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of such issuer’s total assets (exclusive of government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We may take actions to cause the investment securities held by us to be less than 40% of our total assets, which may include acquiring assets with our cash and bitcoin on hand or liquidating our investment securities or bitcoin or seeking a no-action letter from the SEC if we are unable to acquire sufficient assets or liquidate sufficient investment securities in a timely manner.
As the Rule 3a-2 exception is available to a company no more than once every three years, and assuming no other exclusion were available to us, we would have to keep within the 40% limit for at least three years after we cease being an inadvertent investment company. This may limit our ability to make certain investments or enter into joint ventures that could otherwise have a positive impact on our earnings. In any event, we do not intend to become an investment company engaged in the business of investing and trading securities.
Classification as an investment company under the Investment Company Act requires registration with the SEC. If an investment company fails to register, it would have to stop doing almost all business, and its contracts would become voidable. Registration is time consuming and restrictive and would require a restructuring of our operations, and we would be very constrained in the kind of business we could do as a registered investment company. Further, we would become subject to substantial regulation concerning management, operations, transactions with affiliated persons and portfolio composition, and would need to file reports under the Investment Company Act regime. The cost of such compliance would result in the Company incurring substantial additional expenses, and the failure to register if required would have a materially adverse impact to conduct our operations.
We face risks related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which could significantly disrupt our operations and financial results.
We believe that our results of operations, business and financial condition has been adversely impacted by the effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, substantially all of our employees and operations are in China. In addition to global macroeconomic effects, the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and any other related adverse public health developments may cause disruption to our mining activities.
The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) or other disease outbreak will in the short-term, and may over the longer term, adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries, resulting in an economic downturn that may adversely affect demand for bitcoin and impact our operating results. Although the magnitude of the impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our business and operations remains uncertain, the continued spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) or the occurrence of other epidemics and the imposition of related public health measures and travel and business restrictions will adversely impact our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows. In addition, we have experienced and will experience disruptions to our business operations resulting from quarantines, self-isolations, or other movement and restrictions on the ability of our employees to perform their jobs. If we are unable to effectively service our miners, our ability to mine bitcoin will be adversely affected as miners go offline, which would have an adverse effect on our business and the results of our operations.
China has also limited the shipment of products in and out of its borders, which could negatively impact our ability to receive mining equipment from our China-based suppliers. Our third-party manufacturers, suppliers, sub-contractors and customers have been and will continue to be disrupted by worker absenteeism, quarantines, restrictions on employees’ ability to work, office and factory closures, disruptions to ports and other shipping infrastructure, border closures, or other travel or health-related restrictions. Depending on the magnitude of such effects on our supply chain, shipments of parts for our existing miners, as well as any new miners we purchase, may be delayed. As our miners require repair or become obsolete and require replacement, our ability to obtain adequate replacements or repair parts from their manufacturer may therefore be hampered. Supply chain disruptions could therefore negatively impact our operations. If not resolved quickly, the impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The coronavirus pandemic is an emerging serious threat to health and economic wellbeing affecting our employees, investors and our sources of supply.
The sweeping nature of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic makes it extremely difficult to predict how the company’s business and operations will be affected in the longer run. However, the likely overall economic impact of the pandemic is viewed as highly negative to the general economy.
Increases in labor costs in the PRC may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The economy in China has experienced increases in inflation and labor costs in recent years. As a result, average wages in the PRC are expected to continue to increase. In addition, we are required by PRC laws and regulations to pay various statutory employee benefits, including pension, housing fund, medical insurance, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance to designated government agencies for the benefit of our employees. The relevant government agencies may examine whether an employer has made adequate payments to the statutory employee benefits, and those employers who fail to make adequate payments may be subject to late payment fees, fines and/or other penalties. We expect that our labor costs, including wages and employee benefits, will continue to increase. Unless we are able to control our labor costs or pass on these increased labor costs to our users by increasing the fees of our services, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
If we cannot maintain our corporate culture as we grow, we could lose the innovation, collaboration and focus that contribute to our business.
We believe that a critical component of our success is our corporate culture, which we believe fosters innovation, encourages teamwork and cultivates creativity. As we develop the infrastructure of a public company and continue to grow, we may find it difficult to maintain these valuable aspects of our corporate culture. Any failure to preserve our culture could negatively impact our future success, including our ability to attract and retain employees, encourage innovation and teamwork and effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives.
We do not have any business insurance coverage.
Insurance companies in China currently do not offer as extensive an array of insurance products as insurance companies in more developed economies. Currently, we do not have any business liability or disruption insurance to cover our operations. We have determined that the costs of insuring for these risks and the difficulties associated with acquiring such insurance on commercially reasonable terms make it impractical for us to have such insurance. Any uninsured business disruptions may result in our incurring substantial costs and the diversion of resources, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Risks related to Bitcoin Mining
Our results of operations are expected to vary with Bitcoin price volatility
The price of Bitcoin has experienced significant fluctuations over its relatively short existence and may continue to fluctuate significantly in the future.
We expect our results of operations to continue to be affected by the Bitcoin price as most of the revenue is from bitcoin mining production as of the filing date. Any future significant reductions in the price of Bitcoin will likely have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We cannot assure you that the Bitcoin price will remain high enough to sustain our operation or that the Bitcoin price will not decline significantly in the future.
Various factors, mostly beyond our control, could impact the Bitcoin price. For example, the usage of Bitcoins in the retail and commercial marketplace is relatively low in comparison with the usage for speculation, which contributes to Bitcoin price volatility. Additionally, the reward for Bitcoin mining will decline over time, with the most recent halving event occurred in May 2020 and next one four years later, which may further contribute to Bitcoin price volatility.
Our mining operating costs outpace our mining revenues, which could seriously harm our business or increase our losses.
Our mining operations are costly and our expenses may increase in the future. We intend to use funds on hand from our private placement to continue to purchase bitcoin mining machines. This expense increase may not be offset by a corresponding increase in revenue. Our expenses may be greater than we anticipate, and our investments to make our business more efficient may not succeed and may outpace monetization efforts. Increases in our costs without a corresponding increase in our revenue would increase our losses and could seriously harm our business and financial perform
We have an evolving business model which is subject to various uncertainties.
As bitcoin assets may become more widely available, we expect the services and products associated with them to evolve. In order to stay current with the industry, our business model may need to evolve as well. From time to time, we may modify aspects of our business model relating to our strategy. We cannot offer any assurance that these or any other modifications will be successful or will not result in harm to our business. We may not be able to manage growth effectively, which could damage our reputation, limit our growth and negatively affect our operating results. Further, we cannot provide any assurance that we will successfully identify all emerging trends and growth opportunities in this business sector and we may lose out on those opportunities. Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.
Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in us or restrict the use of cryptocurrencies in a manner that adversely affects our business, prospects or operations.
As cryptocurrencies have grown in both popularity and market size, governments around the world have reacted differently to cryptocurrencies; certain governments have deemed them illegal, and others have allowed their use and trade without restriction, while in some jurisdictions, such as in the U.S., subject to extensive, and in some cases overlapping, unclear and evolving regulatory requirements. Ongoing and future regulatory actions may impact our ability to continue to operate, and such actions could affect our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.
The development and acceptance of cryptographic and algorithmic protocols governing the issuance of and transactions in cryptocurrencies is subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate.
The use of cryptocurrencies to, among other things, buy and sell goods and services and complete transactions, is part of a new and rapidly evolving industry that employs bitcoin assets based upon a computer-generated mathematical and/or cryptographic protocol. Large-scale acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment has not, and may never, occur. The growth of this industry in general, and the use of bitcoin, in particular, is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and the slowing or stopping of the development or acceptance of developing protocols may occur unpredictably. The factors include, but are not limited to:
|●||continued worldwide growth in the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies as a medium to exchange;|
|●||governmental and quasi-governmental regulation of cryptocurrencies and their use, or restrictions on or regulation of access to and operation of the network or similar bitcoin systems;|
|●||changes in consumer demographics and public tastes and preferences;|
|●||the maintenance and development of the open-source software protocol of the network;|
|●||the increased consolidation of contributors to the bitcoin blockchain through mining pools;|
|●||the availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services, including new means of using fiat currencies;|
|●||the use of the networks supporting cryptocurrencies for developing smart contracts and distributed applications;|
|●||general economic conditions and the regulatory environment relating to cryptocurrencies; and|
|●||negative consumer sentiment and perception of bitcoin specifically and cryptocurrencies generally.|
The outcome of these factors could have negative effects on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our business strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations as well as potentially negative effect on the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, which would harm investors in our securities.
Banks and financial institutions may not provide banking services, or may cut off services, to businesses that engage in bitcoin-related activities or that accept cryptocurrencies as payment, including financial institutions of investors in our securities.
A number of companies that engage in bitcoin and/or other bitcoin-related activities have been unable to find banks or financial institutions that are willing to provide them with bank accounts and other services. Similarly, a number of companies and individuals or businesses associated with cryptocurrencies may have had and may continue to have their existing bank accounts closed or services discontinued with financial institutions in response to government action, particularly in China, where regulatory response to cryptocurrencies has been to exclude their use for ordinary consumer transactions within China. We also may be unable to obtain or maintain these services for our business. The difficulty that many businesses that provide bitcoin and/or derivatives on other bitcoin-related activities have and may continue to have in finding banks and financial institutions willing to provide them services may be decreasing the usefulness of cryptocurrencies as a payment system and harming public perception of cryptocurrencies, and could decrease their usefulness and harm their public perception in the future.
The usefulness of cryptocurrencies as a payment system and the public perception of cryptocurrencies could be damaged if banks or financial institutions were to close the accounts of businesses engaging in bitcoin and/or other bitcoin-related activities. This could occur as a result of compliance risk, cost, government regulation or public pressure. The risk applies to securities firms, clearance and settlement firms, national stock and derivatives on commodities exchanges, the over-the-counter market, and the Depository Trust Company, which, if any of such entities adopts or implements similar policies, rules or regulations, could negatively affect our relationships with financial institutions and impede our ability to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies. Such factors could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and harm investors.
We may face risks of Internet disruptions, which could have an adverse effect on the price of cryptocurrencies.
A disruption of the Internet may affect the use of cryptocurrencies and subsequently the value of our securities. Generally, cryptocurrencies and our business of mining cryptocurrencies is dependent upon the Internet. A significant disruption in Internet connectivity could disrupt a currency’s network operations until the disruption is resolved and have an adverse effect on the price of cryptocurrencies and our ability to mine cryptocurrencies.
The impact of geopolitical and economic events on the supply and demand for cryptocurrencies is uncertain.
Geopolitical crises may motivate large-scale purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which could increase the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rapidly. This may increase the likelihood of a subsequent price decrease as crisis-driven purchasing behavior dissipates, adversely affecting the value of our inventory following such downward adjustment. Such risks are similar to the risks of purchasing commodities in general uncertain times, such as the risk of purchasing, holding or selling gold. Alternatively, as an emerging asset class with limited acceptance as a payment system or commodity, global crises and general economic downturn may discourage investment in cryptocurrencies as investors focus their investment on less volatile asset classes as a means of hedging their investment risk.
As an alternative to fiat currencies that are backed by central governments, cryptocurrencies, which are relatively new, are subject to supply and demand forces. How such supply and demand will be impacted by geopolitical events is largely uncertain but could be harmful to us and investors in our common stock. Political or economic crises may motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of cryptocurrencies either globally or locally. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
Acceptance and/or widespread use of bitcoin is uncertain.
Currently, there is a relatively limited use of any bitcoin in the retail and commercial marketplace, thus contributing to price volatility that could adversely affect an investment in our securities. Banks and other established financial institutions may refuse to process funds for bitcoin transactions, process wire transfers to or from bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin-related companies or service providers, or maintain accounts for persons or entities transacting in bitcoin. Conversely, a significant portion of bitcoin demand is generated by investors seeking a long-term store of value or speculators seeking to profit from the short- or long-term holding of the asset. Price volatility undermines any bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange, as retailers are much less likely to accept it as a form of payment. Market capitalization for a bitcoin as a medium of exchange and payment method may always be low.
The relative lack of acceptance of bitcoins in the retail and commercial marketplace, or a reduction of such use, limits the ability of end users to use them to pay for goods and services. Such lack of acceptance or decline in acceptances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of bitcoins we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
Transactional fees may decrease demand for bitcoin and prevent expansion.
As the number of bitcoins currency rewards awarded for solving a block in a blockchain decreases, the incentive for miners to continue to contribute to the bitcoin network may transition from a set reward to transaction fees. In order to incentivize miners to continue to contribute to the bitcoin network, the bitcoin network may either formally or informally transition from a set reward to transaction fees earned upon solving a block. This transition could be accomplished by miners independently electing to record in the blocks they solve only those transactions that include payment of a transaction fee. If transaction fees paid for bitcoin transactions become too high, the marketplace may be reluctant to accept bitcoin as a means of payment and existing users may be motivated to switch from bitcoin to another bitcoin or to fiat currency. Either the requirement from miners of higher transaction fees in exchange for recording transactions in a blockchain or a software upgrade that automatically charges fees for all transactions may decrease demand for bitcoin and prevent the expansion of the bitcoin network to retail merchants and commercial businesses, resulting in a reduction in the price of bitcoin that could adversely impact an investment in our securities. Decreased use and demand for bitcoin may adversely affect its value and result in a reduction in the price of bitcoin and the value of our common stock.
The decentralized nature of bitcoin systems may lead to slow or inadequate responses to crises, which may negatively affect our business.
The decentralized nature of the governance of bitcoin systems may lead to ineffective decision making that slows development or prevents a network from overcoming emergent obstacles. Governance of many bitcoin systems is by voluntary consensus and open competition with no clear leadership structure or authority. To the extent lack of clarity in corporate governance of bitcoin systems leads to ineffective decision making that slows development and growth of such cryptocurrencies, the value of our common stock may be adversely affected.
It may be illegal now, or in the future, to acquire, own, hold, sell or use bitcoin, ether, or other cryptocurrencies, participate in blockchains or utilize similar bitcoin assets in one or more countries, the ruling of which would adversely affect us.
Although currently cryptocurrencies generally are not regulated or are lightly regulated in most countries, one or more countries such as China and Russia, which have taken harsh regulatory action, may take regulatory actions in the future that could severely restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use these bitcoin assets or to exchange for fiat currency. In many nations, particularly in China and Russia, it is illegal to accept payment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for consumer transactions and banking institutions are barred from accepting deposits of cryptocurrencies. Such restrictions may adversely affect us as the large-scale use of cryptocurrencies as a means of exchange is presently confined to certain regions globally. Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.
There is a lack of liquid markets, and possible manipulation of blockchain/bitcoin-based assets.
Cryptocurrencies that are represented and trade on a ledger-based platform may not necessarily benefit from viable trading markets. Stock exchanges have listing requirements and vet issuers; requiring them to be subjected to rigorous listing standards and rules, and monitor investors transacting on such platform for fraud and other improprieties. These conditions may not necessarily be replicated on a distributed ledger platform, depending on the platform’s controls and other policies. The laxer a distributed ledger platform is about vetting issuers of bitcoin assets or users that transact on the platform, the higher the potential risk for fraud or the manipulation of the ledger due to a control event. These factors may decrease liquidity or volume or may otherwise increase volatility of investment securities or other assets trading on a ledger-based system, which may adversely affect us. Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.
Our operations, investment strategies and profitability may be adversely affected by competition from other methods of investing in cryptocurrencies.
We compete with other users and/or companies that are mining cryptocurrencies and other potential financial vehicles, including securities backed by or linked to cryptocurrencies through entities similar to us. Market and financial conditions, and other conditions beyond our control, may make it more attractive to invest in other financial vehicles, or to invest in cryptocurrencies directly, which could limit the market for our shares and reduce their liquidity. The emergence of other financial vehicles and exchange-traded funds have been scrutinized by regulators and such scrutiny and the negative impressions or conclusions resulting from such scrutiny could be applicable to us and impact our ability to successfully pursue our new strategy or operate at all, or to establish or maintain a public market for our securities. Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.
The development and acceptance of competing blockchain platforms or technologies may cause consumers to use alternative distributed ledgers or other alternatives.
The development and acceptance of competing blockchain platforms or technologies may cause consumers to use alternative distributed ledgers or an alternative to distributed ledgers altogether. Our business utilizes presently existent digital ledgers and blockchains and we could face difficulty adapting to emergent digital ledgers, blockchains, or alternatives thereto. This may adversely affect us and our exposure to various blockchain technologies and prevent us from realizing the anticipated profits from our investments. Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.
Our bitcoins may be subject to loss, theft or restriction on access.
There is a risk that some or all of our bitcoins could be lost or stolen. Cryptocurrencies are stored in bitcoin sites commonly referred to as “wallets” by holders of bitcoins which may be accessed to exchange a holder’s bitcoin assets. Access to our bitcoin assets could also be restricted by cybercrime (such as a denial of service attack) against a service at which we maintain a hosted hot wallet. A hot wallet refers to any bitcoin wallet that is connected to the Internet. Generally, hot wallets are easier to set up and access than wallets in cold storage, but they are also more susceptible to hackers and other technical vulnerabilities. Cold storage refers to any bitcoin wallet that is not connected to the Internet. Cold storage is generally more secure than hot storage, but is not ideal for quick or regular transactions and we may experience lag time in our ability to respond to market fluctuations in the price of our bitcoin assets. We hold all of our cryptocurrencies in cold storage to reduce the risk of malfeasance, but the risk of loss of our bitcoin assets cannot be wholly eliminated.
Hackers or malicious actors may launch attacks to steal, compromise or secure cryptocurrencies, such as by attacking the bitcoin network source code, exchange miners, third-party platforms, cold and hot storage locations or software, or by other means. We may be in control and possession of one of the more substantial holdings of bitcoins. As we increase in size, we may become a more appealing target of hackers, malware, cyber-attacks or other security threats. Any of these events may adversely affect our operations and, consequently, our investments and profitability. The loss or destruction of a private key required to access our digital wallets may be irreversible and we may be denied access for all time to our bitcoin holdings or the holdings of others held in those compromised wallets. Our loss of access to our private keys or our experience of a data loss relating to our digital wallets could adversely affect our investments and assets.
Cryptocurrencies are controllable only by the possessor of both the unique public and private keys relating to the local or online digital wallet in which they are held, which wallet’s public key or address is reflected in the network’s public blockchain. We will publish the public key relating to digital wallets in use when we verify the receipt of transfers and disseminate such information into the network, but we will need to safeguard the private keys relating to such digital wallets. To the extent such private keys are lost, destroyed or otherwise compromised, we will be unable to access our bitcoin rewards and such private keys may not be capable of being restored by any network. Any loss of private keys relating to digital wallets used to store our cryptocurrencies could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
Risks due to hacking or adverse software event.
In order to minimize risk, we have established processes to manage wallets that are associated with our bitcoin holdings. There can be no assurances that any processes we have adopted or will adopt in the future are or will be secure or effective, and we would suffer significant and immediate adverse effects if we suffered a loss of our bitcoin due to an adverse software or cybersecurity event. We utilize several layers of threat reduction techniques, including: (i) the use of hardware wallets to store sensitive private key information; (ii) performance of transactions offline; and (iii) offline generation storage and use of private keys.
At present, the Company is evaluating several third-party custodial wallet alternatives, but there can be no assurance that such services will be more secure than those the Company presently employs. Human error and the constantly evolving state of cybercrime and hacking techniques may render present security protocols and procedures ineffective in ways which we cannot predict. If our security procedures and protocols are ineffectual and our bitcoin assets are compromised by cybercriminals, we may not have adequate recourse to recover our losses stemming from such compromise and we may lose much of the accumulated value of our bitcoin mining activities. This would have a negative impact on our business and operations.
Incorrect or fraudulent bitcoin transactions may be irreversible.
Bitcoin transactions are irrevocable and stolen or incorrectly transferred cryptocurrencies may be irretrievable. As a result, any incorrectly executed or fraudulent bitcoin transactions could adversely affect our investments and assets.
Bitcoin transactions are not, from an administrative perspective, reversible without the consent and active participation of the recipient of the cryptocurrencies from the transaction. In theory, bitcoin transactions may be reversible with the control or consent of a majority of processing power on the network, however, we do not now, nor is it feasible that we could in the future, possess sufficient processing power to effect this reversal. Once a transaction has been verified and recorded in a block that is added to a blockchain, an incorrect transfer of a bitcoin or a theft thereof generally will not be reversible and we may not have sufficient recourse to recover our losses from any such transfer or theft. It is possible that, through computer or human error, or through theft or criminal action, our bitcoin rewards could be transferred in incorrect amounts or to unauthorized third parties, or to uncontrolled accounts. Further, according to the SEC, at this time, there is no specifically enumerated U.S. or foreign governmental, regulatory, investigative or prosecutorial authority or mechanism through which to bring an action or complaint regarding missing or stolen bitcoin. We are, therefore, presently reliant on existing private investigative entities, such as Chain analysis and Kroll to investigate any potential loss of our bitcoin assets. These third-party service providers rely on data analysis and compliance of ISPs with traditional court orders to reveal information such as the IP addresses of any attackers who may have target us. To the extent that we are unable to recover our losses from such action, error or theft, such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations of and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
Our interactions with a blockchain may expose us to SDN or blocked persons or cause us to violate provisions of law that did not contemplate distribute ledger technology.
The Office of Financial Assets Control of the US Department of Treasury requires us to comply with its sanction program and not conduct business with persons named on its specially designated nationals (“SDN”) list. However, because of the pseudonymous nature of blockchain transactions we may inadvertently and without our knowledge engage in transactions with persons named on OFAC’s SDN list. Our Company’s policy prohibits any transactions with such SDN individuals, but we may not be adequately capable of determining the ultimate identity of the individual with whom we transact with respect to selling bitcoin assets. Moreover, federal law prohibits any US person from knowingly or unknowingly possessing any visual depiction commonly known as child pornography. Recent media reports have suggested that persons have imbedded such depictions on one or more blockchains. Because our business requires us to download and retain one or more blockchains to effectuate our ongoing business, it is possible that such digital ledgers contain prohibited depictions without our knowledge or consent. To the extent government enforcement authorities literally enforce these and other laws and regulations that are impacted by decentralized distributed ledger technology, we may be subject to investigation, administrative or court proceedings, and civil or criminal monetary fines and penalties, all of which could harm our reputation and affect the value of our common stock.
Cryptocurrencies face significant scaling obstacles that can lead to high fees or slow transaction settlement times.
Cryptocurrencies face significant scaling obstacles that can lead to high fees or slow transaction settlement times, and attempts to increase the volume of transactions may not be effective. Scaling cryptocurrencies is essential to the widespread acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, which widespread acceptance is necessary to the continued growth and development of our business. Many bitcoin networks face significant scaling challenges. For example, cryptocurrencies are limited with respect to how many transactions can occur per second. Participants in the bitcoin ecosystem debate potential approaches to increasing the average number of transactions per second that the network can handle and have implemented mechanisms or are researching ways to increase scale, such as increasing the allowable sizes of blocks, and therefore the number of transactions per block, and sharding (a horizontal partition of data in a database or search engine), which would not require every single transaction to be included in every single miner’s or validator’s block. However, there is no guarantee that any of the mechanisms in place or being explored for increasing the scale of settlement of bitcoin transactions will be effective, or how long they will take to become effective, which could adversely affect an investment in our securities.
The price of cryptocurrencies may be affected by the sale of such cryptocurrencies by other vehicles investing in cryptocurrencies or tracking bitcoin markets.
The global market for bitcoin is characterized by supply constraints that differ from those present in the markets for commodities or other assets such as gold and silver. The mathematical protocols under which certain cryptocurrencies are mined permit the creation of a limited, predetermined amount of currency, while others have no limit established on total supply. To the extent that other vehicles investing in cryptocurrencies or tracking bitcoin markets form and come to represent a significant proportion of the demand for cryptocurrencies, large redemptions of the securities of those vehicles and the subsequent sale of cryptocurrencies by such vehicles could negatively affect bitcoin prices and therefore affect the value of the bitcoin inventory we hold. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
Because there has been limited precedent set for financial accounting of bitcoin and other bitcoin assets, the determination that we have made for how to account for bitcoin assets transactions may be subject to change.
Because there has been limited precedent set for the financial accounting of cryptocurrencies and related revenue recognition and no official guidance has yet been provided by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or the SEC, it is unclear how companies may in the future be required to account for bitcoin transactions and assets and related revenue recognition. A change in regulatory or financial accounting standards could result in the necessity to change our accounting methods and restate our financial statements. Such a restatement could adversely affect the accounting for our newly mined bitcoin rewards and more generally negatively impact our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation. Such circumstances would have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations as well as and potentially the value of any cryptocurrencies we hold or expects to acquire for our own account and harm investors.
There are risks related to technological obsolescence, the vulnerability of the global supply chain for bitcoin hardware disruption, and difficulty in obtaining new hardware which may have a negative effect on our business.
Our mining operations can only be successful and ultimately profitable if the costs, including hardware and electricity costs, associated with mining cryptocurrencies are lower than the price of a bitcoin. As our mining facility operates, our miners experience ordinary wear and tear, and may also face more significant malfunctions caused by a number of extraneous factors beyond our control. The degradation of our miners will require us to, over time, replace those miners which are no longer functional. Additionally, as the technology evolves, we may be required to acquire newer models of miners to remain competitive in the market. Reports have been released which indicate that miner manufacturer or seller adjusts the prices of its miners according to bitcoin prices, so the cost of new machines is unpredictable but could be extremely high. As a result, at times, we may obtain miners and other hardware from third parties at premium prices, to the extent they are available. This upgrading process requires substantial capital investment, and we may face challenges. Further, the global supply chain for bitcoin miners is presently heavily dependent on China, which has been severely affected by the emergence of the COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic. The global reliance on China as a main supplier of bitcoin miners has been called into question in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Should similar outbreaks or other disruptions to the China-based global supply chain for bitcoin hardware occur, we may not be able to obtain adequate replacement parts for our existing miners or to obtain additional miners from the manufacturer on a timely basis. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to pursue our new strategy, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and the value of our ordinary shares.
Our reliance primarily on a single model of miner may subject our operations to increased risk of mine failure.
The performance and reliability of our miners and our technology is critical to our reputation and our operations. Because we currently only use MicroBT miners, if there are issues with those machines, our entire system could be affected. Any system error or failure may significantly delay response times or even cause our system to fail. Any disruption in our ability to continue mining could result in lower yields and harm our reputation and business. Any exploitable weakness, flaw, or error common to MicroBT miners affects all our miners, if a defect other flaw is exploited, our entire mine could go offline simultaneously. Any interruption, delay or system failure could result in financial losses, a decrease in the trading price of our common stock and damage to our reputation.
The Company’s reliance on a third-party mining pool service provider for our mining revenue payouts may have a negative impact on the Company operations.
We use third–party mining pools to receive our mining rewards from the network. Mining pools allow miners to combine their processing power, increasing their chances of solving a block and getting paid by the network. The rewards are distributed by the pool operator, proportionally to our contribution to the pool’s overall mining power, used to generate each block. Should the pool operator’s system suffer downtime due to a cyber-attack, software malfunction or other similar issues, it will negatively impact our ability to mine and receive revenue. Furthermore, we are dependent on the accuracy of the mining pool operator’s record keeping to accurately record the total processing power provided to the pool for a given bitcoin mining application in order to assess the proportion of that total processing power we provided. While we have internal methods of tracking both our power provided and the total used by the pool, the mining pool operator uses its own record-keeping to determine our proportion of a given reward. We have little means of recourse against the mining pool operator if we determine the proportion of the reward paid out to us by the mining pool operator is incorrect, other than leaving the pool. If we are unable to consistently obtain accurate proportionate rewards from our mining pool operators, we may experience reduced reward for our efforts, which would have an adverse effect on our business and operations.
The bitcoin for which we mine, bitcoin, is subject to halving; the bitcoin reward for successfully uncovering a block will halve several times in the future and their value may not adjust to compensate us for the reduction in the rewards we receive from our mining efforts.
Halving is a process designed to control the overall supply and reduce the risk of inflation in cryptocurrencies using a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. At a predetermined block, the mining reward is cut in half, hence the term “halving.” For bitcoin, the reward was initially set at 50 bitcoin currency rewards per block and this was cut in half to 25 in November 28, 2012 at block 210,000 and again to 12.5 on July 9, 2016 at block 420,000 and in May 2020 at block 630,000 when the reward reduced to 6.25. This process will reoccur until the total amount of bitcoin currency rewards issued reaches 21 million, which is expected around 2140. While bitcoin prices have had a history of price fluctuations around the halving of its bitcoin rewards, there is no guarantee that the price change will be favorable or would compensate for the reduction in mining reward. If a corresponding and proportionate increase in the trading price of bitcoin does not follow these anticipated halving events, the revenue we earn from our mining operations would see a corresponding decrease, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
Our future success will depend in large part upon the value of bitcoin; the value of bitcoin may be subject to pricing risk and has historically been subject to wide swings.
Our operating results will depend in large part upon the value of bitcoin because it’s the primary bitcoin we currently mine. Specifically, our revenues from our bitcoin mining operations are based upon two factors: (1) the number of bitcoin rewards we successfully mine and (2) the value of bitcoin. In addition, our operating results are directly impacted by changes in the value of bitcoin, because under the value measurement model, both realized and unrealized changes will be reflected in our statement of operations (i.e., we will be marking bitcoin to fair value each quarter). This means that our operating results will be subject to swings based upon increases or decreases in the value of bitcoin. Furthermore, our strategy focuses almost entirely on bitcoin (as opposed to other cryptocurrencies). Further, our current application-specific integrated circuit (“ASIC”) machines (which we refer to as “miners”) are principally utilized for mining bitcoin and bitcoin cash and cannot mine other cryptocurrencies, such as ether, that are not mined utilizing the “SHA-256 algorithm.” If other cryptocurrencies were to achieve acceptance at the expense of bitcoin or bitcoin cash causing the value of bitcoin or bitcoin cash to decline, or if bitcoin were to switch its proof of work algorithm from SHA-256 to another algorithm for which our miners are not specialized, or the value of bitcoin or bitcoin cash were to decline for other reasons, particularly if such decline were significant or over an extended period of time, our operating results would be adversely affected, and there could be a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations, and harm investors.
Bitcoin and other bitcoin market prices, which have historically been volatile and are impacted by a variety of factors (including those discussed below), are determined primarily using data from various exchanges, over-the-counter markets and derivative platforms. Furthermore, such prices may be subject to factors such as those that impact commodities, more so than business activities, which could be subjected to additional influence from fraudulent or illegitimate actors, real or perceived scarcity, and political, economic, regulatory or other conditions. Pricing may be the result of, and may continue to result in, speculation regarding future appreciation in the value of cryptocurrencies, or our share price, inflating and making their market prices more volatile or creating “bubble” type risks for both bitcoin and shares of our ordinary shares.
We may not be able to realize the benefits of forks.
To the extent that a significant majority of users and miners on a bitcoin network install software that changes the bitcoin network or properties of a bitcoin, including the irreversibility of transactions and limitations on the mining of new bitcoin, the bitcoin network would be subject to new protocols and software. However, if less than a significant majority of users and miners on the bitcoin network consent to the proposed modification, and the modification is not compatible with the software prior to its modification, the consequence would be what is known as a “fork” of the network, with one prong running the pre-modified software and the other running the modified software. The effect of such a fork would be the existence of two versions of the bitcoin running in parallel, yet lacking interchangeability and necessitating exchange-type transaction to convert currencies between the two forks. Additionally, it may be unclear following a fork which fork represents the original asset and which is the new asset. Different metrics adopted by industry participants to determine which is the original asset include: referring to the wishes of the core developers of a bitcoin, blockchains with the greatest amount of hashing power contributed by miners or validators; or blockchains with the longest chain. A fork in the network of a particular bitcoin could adversely affect an investment in our Company or our ability to operate.
We may not be able to realize the economic benefit of a fork, either immediately or ever, which could adversely affect an investment in our securities. If we hold a bitcoin at the time of a hard fork into two cryptocurrencies, industry standards would dictate that we would be expected to hold an equivalent amount of the old and new assets following the fork. However, we may not be able, or it may not be practical, to secure or realize the economic benefit of the new asset for various reasons. For instance, we may determine that there is no safe or practical way to custody the new asset, that trying to do so may pose an unacceptable risk to our holdings in the old asset, or that the costs of taking possession and/or maintaining ownership of the new bitcoin exceed the benefits of owning the new bitcoin. Additionally, laws, regulation or other factors may prevent us from benefitting from the new asset even if there is a safe and practical way to custody and secure the new asset.
There is a possibility of bitcoin mining algorithms transitioning to proof of stake validation and other mining related risks, which could make us less competitive and ultimately adversely affect our business and the value of our stock.
Proof of stake is an alternative method in validating bitcoin transactions. Should the algorithm shift from a proof of work validation method to a proof of stake method, mining would require less energy and may render any company that maintains advantages in the current climate (for example, from lower priced electricity, processing, real estate, or hosting) less competitive. We, as a result of our efforts to optimize and improve the efficiency of our bitcoin mining operations, may be exposed to the risk in the future of losing the benefit of our capital investments and the competitive advantage we hope to gain form this as a result, and may be negatively impacted if a switch to proof of stake validation were to occur. This may additionally have an impact on other various investments of ours. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our business strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
To the extent that the profit margins of bitcoin mining operations are not high, operators of bitcoin mining operations are more likely to immediately sell bitcoin rewards earned by mining in the market, thereby constraining growth of the price of bitcoin that could adversely impact us, and similar actions could affect other cryptocurrencies.
Over the past two years, bitcoin mining operations have evolved from individual users mining with computer processors, graphics processing units and first-generation ASIC servers. Currently, new processing power is predominantly added by incorporated and unincorporated “professionalized” mining operations. Professionalized mining operations may use proprietary hardware or sophisticated ASIC machines acquired from ASIC manufacturers. They require the investment of significant capital for the acquisition of this hardware, the leasing of operating space (often in data centers or warehousing facilities), incurring of electricity costs and the employment of technicians to operate the mining farms. As a result, professionalized mining operations are of a greater scale than prior miners and have more defined and regular expenses and liabilities. These regular expenses and liabilities require professionalized mining operations to maintain profit margins on the sale of bitcoin. To the extent the price of bitcoin declines and such profit margin is constrained, professionalized miners are incentivized to more immediately sell bitcoin earned from mining operations, whereas it is believed that individual miners in past years were more likely to hold newly mined bitcoin for more extended periods. The immediate selling of newly mined bitcoin greatly increases the trading volume of bitcoin, creating downward pressure on the market price of bitcoin rewards.
The extent to which the value of bitcoin mined by a professionalized mining operation exceeds the allocable capital and operating costs determines the profit margin of such operation. A professionalized mining operation may be more likely to sell a higher percentage of its newly mined bitcoin rapidly if it is operating at a low profit margin and it may partially or completely cease operations if its profit margin is negative. In a low profit margin environment, a higher percentage could be sold more rapidly, thereby potentially depressing bitcoin prices. Lower bitcoin prices could result in further tightening of profit margins for professionalized mining operations creating a network effect that may further reduce the price of bitcoin until mining operations with higher operating costs become unprofitable forcing them to reduce mining power or cease mining operations temporarily.
If a malicious actor or botnet obtains control of more than 50% of the processing power on a bitcoin network, such actor or botnet could manipulate blockchains to adversely affect us, which would adversely affect an investment in us or our ability to operate.
If a malicious actor or botnet (a volunteer or hacked collection of computers controlled by networked software coordinating the actions of the computers) obtains a majority of the processing power dedicated to mining a bitcoin, it may be able to alter blockchains on which transactions of bitcoin reside and rely by constructing fraudulent blocks or preventing certain transactions from completing in a timely manner, or at all. The malicious actor or botnet could control, exclude or modify the ordering of transactions, though it could not generate new units or transactions using such control. The malicious actor could “double-spend” its own bitcoin (i.e., spend the same bitcoin in more than one transaction) and prevent the confirmation of other users’ transactions for as long as it maintained control. To the extent that such malicious actor or botnet does not yield its control of the processing power on the network or the bitcoin community does not reject the fraudulent blocks as malicious, reversing any changes made to blockchains may not be possible. The foregoing description is not the only means by which the entirety of blockchains or cryptocurrencies may be compromised but is only an example.
Although there are no known reports of malicious activity or control of blockchains achieved through controlling over 50% of the processing power on the network, it is believed that certain mining pools may have exceeded the 50% threshold in bitcoin. The possible crossing of the 50% threshold indicates a greater risk that a single mining pool could exert authority over the validation of bitcoin transactions. To the extent that the bitcoin ecosystem, and the administrators of mining pools, do not act to ensure greater decentralization of bitcoin mining processing power, the feasibility of a malicious actor obtaining control of the processing power will increase because the botnet or malicious actor could compromise more than 50% mining pool and thereby gain control of blockchain, whereas if the blockchain remains decentralized it is inherently more difficult for the botnet of malicious actor to aggregate enough processing power to gain control of the blockchain, may adversely affect an investment in our common stock. Such lack of controls and responses to such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.
Cryptocurrencies, including those maintained by or for us, may be exposed to cybersecurity threats and hacks.
As with any computer code generally, flaws in bitcoin codes may be exposed by malicious actors. Several errors and defects have been found previously, including those that disabled some functionality for users and exposed users’ information. Exploitations of flaws in the source code that allow malicious actors to take or create money have previously occurred. Despite our efforts and processes to prevent breaches, our devices, as well as our miners, computer systems and those of third parties that we use in our operations, are vulnerable to cyber security risks, including cyber-attacks such as viruses and worms, phishing attacks, denial-of-service attacks, physical or electronic break-ins, employee theft or misuse, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our miners and computer systems or those of third parties that we use in our operations. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our business strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
We are subject to risks associated with our need for significant electrical power. Government regulators may potentially restrict the ability of electricity suppliers to provide electricity to mining operations, such as ours.
The operation of a bitcoin or other bitcoin mine can require massive amounts of electrical power. Further, our mining operations can only be successful and ultimately profitable if the costs, including electrical power costs, associated with mining a bitcoin are lower than the price of a bitcoin. As a result, any mine we establish can only be successful if we can obtain sufficient electrical power for that mine on a cost-effective basis, and our establishment of new mines requires us to find locations where that is the case. There may be significant competition for suitable mine locations, and government regulators may potentially restrict the ability of electricity suppliers to provide electricity to mining operations in times of electricity shortage, or may otherwise potentially restrict or prohibit the provision or electricity to mining operations. Additionally, our mines could be materially adversely affected by a power outage. Given the power requirement, it would not be feasible to run miners on back-up power generators in the event of a government restriction on electricity or a power outage. If we are unable to receive adequate power supply and are forced to reduce our operations due to the availability or cost of electrical power, our business would experience materially negative impacts.
If the award of bitcoin rewards, for us primarily bitcoin for solving blocks and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease mining operations, which will likely lead to our failure to achieve profitability.
As the number of bitcoin rewards awarded for solving a block in a blockchain decreases, our ability to achieve profitability worsens. Decreased use and demand for bitcoin rewards may adversely affect our incentive to expend processing power to solve blocks. If the award of bitcoin rewards for solving blocks and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease our mining operations. For instance, the current fixed reward for solving a new block on the bitcoin blockchain is twelve and a half bitcoin currency rewards per block, which decreased from 25 bitcoin in July 2016. It is estimated that it will halve again in about one year. This reduction may result in a reduction in the aggregate hash rate of the bitcoin network as the incentive for miners decreases. Miners ceasing operations would reduce the collective processing power on the network, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions (i.e., temporarily decreasing the speed at which blocks are added to a blockchain until the next scheduled adjustment in difficulty for block solutions) and make bitcoin networks more vulnerable to a malicious actor or botnet obtaining control in excess of 50 percent of the processing power active on a blockchain, potentially permitting such actor or botnet to manipulate a blockchain in a manner that adversely affects our activities. A reduction in confidence in the confirmation process or processing power of the network could result and be irreversible. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue to pursue our new strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.
We may not adequately respond to price fluctuations and rapidly changing technology, which may negatively affect our business.
Competitive conditions within the bitcoin industry require that we use sophisticated technology in the operation of our business. The industry for blockchain technology is characterized by rapid technological changes, new product introductions, enhancements and evolving industry standards. New technologies, techniques or products could emerge that might offer better performance than the software and other technologies we currently utilize, and we may have to manage transitions to these new technologies to remain competitive. We may not be successful, generally or relative to our competitors in the bitcoin industry, in timely implementing new technology into our systems, or doing so in a cost-effective manner. During the course of implementing any such new technology into our operations, we may experience system interruptions and failures during such implementation. Furthermore, there can be no assurances that we will recognize, in a timely manner or at all, the benefits that we may expect as a result of our implementing new technology into our operations. As a result, our business and operations may suffer, and there may be adverse effects on the price of our common stock.
related to our Digital Advertising Business
We are dependent on our relationship with Xinhua New Media
Our digital advertising business is dependent on our relationship with Xinhua New Media, the operator of the Xinhua app. The 5-year agreement with Xinhua New Media expired in 2019 but by unwritten consent, we still have access to the New Xinhua app and place advertisements on behalf of our clients.
We may not be able to attract new clients and retain key staff
Certain of our staff are key to the above relationship and should we fail to retain these staff, it may jeopardize our ability to continue to provide such a service to our clients. We are also limited in our ability to attract new clients because of our limited number of staff.
Our business is largely centered in Beijing and the neighboring cities
Our base is in Beijing and we have had difficulties serving clients that are not physically nearby. This limits our reach to clients in other major cities in China.
Risks Involving Intellectual Property
Bitcoin and bitcoin mining is software related
We actively use specific hardware and software for our bitcoin mining operation. In certain cases, source code and other software assets may be subject to an open source license, as much technology development underway in this sector is open source. For these works, the company intends to adhere to the terms of any license agreements that may be in place.
We do not currently own, and do not have any current plans to seek, any patents in connection with our existing and planned blockchain and cryptocurrency related operations. We do expect to rely upon trade secrets, trademarks, service marks, trade names, copyrights and other intellectual property rights and expect to license the use of intellectual property rights owned and controlled by others. In addition, we have developed and may further develop certain proprietary software applications for purposes of our cryptocurrency mining operation.
Our platform may be subject to damage, interruptions or delays that may adversely affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.
In the event of a platform outage and physical data loss, our ability to perform our bitcoin mining operations would be materially and adversely affected. The satisfactory performance, reliability and availability of our platform are critical to our operations. Much of our system hardware is hosted in leased facilities located in Wuhai, Zhundong, Xilinhot and Sichuan China that is operated by our IT staff. We also maintain a real-time backup system at a separate facility also located in Wuhai, China. Our operations depend on our ability to protect our systems against damage or interruption from natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures, air quality issues, environmental conditions, computer viruses or attempts to harm our systems, criminal acts and similar events. If there is a lapse in service or damage to our leased Shanghai facilities, we could experience interruptions in our service as well as delays and additional expense in arranging new facilities.
Any interruptions or delays in our service, whether as a result of third-party errors, our errors, natural disasters or security breaches, whether accidental or willful, could harm our operations and/or reputation. Additionally, in the event of damage or interruption, our insurance policies may not adequately compensate us for any losses that we may incur. Our disaster recovery plan has not been tested under actual disaster conditions, and we may not have sufficient capacity to recover all data and services in the event of an outage. These factors could prevent us from mining bitcoins, damage our brand and reputation, divert our employees’ attention, subject us to liability, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our platform and internal systems rely on software that is highly technical, and if it contains undetected errors, our business could be adversely affected.
Our platform and internal systems rely on software that is highly technical and complex. In addition, our platform and internal systems depend on the ability of such software to store, retrieve, process and manage immense amounts of data. The software on which we rely has contained, and may now or in the future contain, undetected errors or bugs. Some errors may only be discovered after the code has been released for external or internal use. Any errors, bugs or defects discovered in the software on which we rely could result in harm to our reputation, or liability for damages, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial conditions.
We may not be able to prevent others from unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could harm our business and competitive position.
We regard our trademarks, domain names, know-how, proprietary technologies and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on a combination of intellectual property laws and contractual arrangements, including confidentiality and non-compete agreements with our employees and others to protect our proprietary rights. See “Item 4. Information of the Company —Intellectual Property” and “Regulation—Regulation on Intellectual Property Rights.” Thus, we cannot assure you that any of our intellectual property rights would not be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or misappropriated, or such intellectual property will be sufficient to provide us with competitive advantages. In addition, because of the rapid pace of technological change in our industry, parts of our business rely on technologies developed or licensed by third parties, and we may not be able to obtain or continue to obtain licenses and technologies from these third parties on reasonable terms, or at all.
It is often difficult to register, maintain and enforce intellectual property rights in China. Statutory laws and regulations are subject to judicial interpretation and enforcement and may not be applied consistently due to the lack of clear guidance on statutory interpretation. Confidentiality, invention assignment and non-compete agreements may be breached by counterparties, and there may not be adequate remedies available to us for any such breach. Accordingly, we may not be able to effectively protect our intellectual property rights or to enforce our contractual rights in China. Preventing any unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and costly and the steps we take may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our intellectual property. In the event that we resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, such litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our managerial and financial resources. We can provide no assurance that we will prevail in such litigation. In addition, our trade secrets may be leaked or otherwise become available to, or be independently discovered by, our competitors. To the extent that our employees or consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related know-how and inventions. Any failure in protecting or enforcing our intellectual property rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims, which may be expensive to defend and may disrupt our business and operations.
We cannot be certain that our operations or any aspects of our business do not or will not infringe upon or otherwise violate trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights held by third parties. We may be from time to time in the future subject to legal proceedings and claims relating to the intellectual property rights of others. In addition, there may be third-party trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights that are infringed by our products, services or other aspects of our business without our awareness. Holders of such intellectual property rights may seek to enforce such intellectual property rights against us in China, the United States or other jurisdictions. If any third-party infringement claims are brought against us, we may be forced to divert management’s time and other resources from our business and operations to defend against these claims, regardless of their merits.
Additionally, the application and interpretation of China’s intellectual property right laws and the procedures and standards for granting trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how or other intellectual property rights in China are still evolving and are uncertain, and we cannot assure you that PRC courts or regulatory authorities would agree with our analysis. If we were found to have violated the intellectual property rights of others, we may be subject to liability for our infringement activities or may be prohibited from using such intellectual property, and we may incur licensing fees or be forced to develop alternatives of our own. As a result, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to Doing Business in China
Changes in China’s economic, political or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
All of our current operations are located in China. Accordingly, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic and social conditions in China generally and by continued economic growth in China as a whole.
The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Although the Chinese government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government. In addition, the Chinese government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The Chinese government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.
While the Chinese economy has experienced significant growth over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The Chinese government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall Chinese economy but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. In addition, in the past the Chinese government has implemented certain measures, including interest rate increases, to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity in China, and since 2012, and in particular in 2020 as a result of COVID-19,China’s economic growth has slowed down. Any prolonged slowdown in the Chinese economy may reduce the demand for our products and services and materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of Chinese laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to us.
The PRC legal system is based on written statutes and prior court decisions have limited value as precedents. Since these laws and regulations are relatively new and the PRC legal system continues to rapidly evolve, the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules are not always uniform and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involves uncertainties.
From time to time, we may have to resort to administrative and court proceedings to enforce our legal rights. However, since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy than in more developed legal systems. Furthermore, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules (some of which are not published in a timely manner or at all) that may have retroactive effect. This is what, in effect, occurred with regard to our peer to peer lending business. From 2015 to 2019, the guidance for this business from the Chinese government changed from supporting it, to limiting it, to finally shutting it down. As a result, we may not be aware of our violating these policies and rules until sometime after the violation. Such uncertainties, including uncertainty over the scope and effect of our contractual, property (including intellectual property) and procedural rights, could materially and adversely affect our business and impede our ability to continue our operations.
The PRC government may intervene or influence our operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which could result in a material change in our operations and/or cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.
Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government has significant oversight over the conduct of our business, and it may influence our operations, which could result in a material adverse change in our operation and/or the value of our securities. Also, the PRC government has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers. For example, on July 6, 2021, the relevant PRC government authorities made public the Opinions on Strictly Scrutinizing Illegal Securities Activities in Accordance with the Law, or the Opinions. These opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies and proposed to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. On December 28, 2021, the CAC issued the Cybersecurity Review Measures 2021, which required that, among others, network platform operators holding over one million users’ personal information shall apply with the Cybersecurity Review Office for a cybersecurity review before any public offering in a foreign country. We believe we are not subject to a cybersecurity review under the Cybersecurity Review Measures, because our PRC subsidiaries are mainly engaged in digital advertising and none of our PRC subsidiaries is a “network platform operators”. On November 14, 2021, the CAC released the Regulations on the Network Data Security, or the Draft Regulations, for public comments, which stipulates, among others, that a prior cybersecurity review is required for listing abroad of data processors which process over one million users’ personal information, and the listing of data processors in Hong Kong which affects or may affect national security. We believe we are not subject to a cybersecurity review under the Draft Regulations, because none of our PRC subsidiaries is a “data processor”. Since the Draft Regulations are in the process of being formulated and the Opinions and the Cybersecurity Review Measures 2021 remain unclear on how it will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant PRC governmental authorities, it remains uncertain how PRC governmental authorities will regulate overseas listing in general and whether we are required to obtain any specific regulatory approvals from the CSRC, CAC or any other PRC governmental authorities for our offshore offerings. On December 24, 2021, the CSRC released the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) (the “Administration Provisions”), and the Provisions of the State Council on the Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) (the “Measures”). The Administration Provisions and Measures for overseas listings lay out specific requirements for filing documents and include unified regulation management, strengthening regulatory coordination, and cross-border regulatory cooperation. The Administration Provisions and Measures have not yet come into effect as of the date of this report, it is uncertain when the Administration Provision and the Measures will take effect or if they will take effect as currently drafted. Currently, the period for public comment on these draft regulations has ended and their provisions and anticipated adoption or effective date are subject to changes and thus their interpretation and implementation remain substantially uncertain. It also remains unclear on whether a US-listed company, like us, is subject to the CSRC filing procedures, to maintain the listing of its securities in a foreign country. If the CSRC, CAC or other regulatory agencies later promulgate new rules or explanations requiring that we obtain their approvals for our future offshore offerings, we may be unable to obtain such approvals in a timely manner, or at all, and such approvals may be rescinded even if obtained. Any such circumstance could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. In addition, implementation of industry-wide regulations directly targeting our operations could cause the value of our securities to significantly decline. Therefore, investors of our company and our business face potential uncertainty from actions taken by the PRC government affecting our business.
The PCAOB is currently unable to inspect our auditor in relation to their audit work performed for our financial statements and the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections or investigation completely over our auditor deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.
Our auditor, the independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit report included elsewhere in this annual report, as an auditor of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the PCAOB, is subject to laws in the United States pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess its compliance with the applicable professional standards. Since our auditor is located in Hong Kong, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB found it has been unable to conduct inspections or complete investigations of the audit work performed because of a position taken by the authorities in Hong Kong, our auditor is not currently inspected by the PCAOB. As a result, we and investors in our ordinary shares are deprived of the benefits of such PCAOB inspections. The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections or complete investigations of auditors in China and Hong Kong makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to the PCAOB inspections, which could cause investors and potential investors in our shares to lose confidence in our audit procedures and reported financial information and the quality of our financial statements.
Our ordinary shares will be prohibited from trading in the United States under the HFCAA in 2024 if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or fully investigate auditors located in China, or as early as 2023 if proposed changes to the law are enacted. The delisting of our ordinary shares, or the threat of their being delisted, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment.
The HFCAA, which was signed into law on December 18, 2020, states that if the SEC determines that we have filed audit reports issued by a registered public accounting firm that has not been subject to inspection for the PCAOB for three consecutive years beginning in 2021, the SEC shall prohibit our shares from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter trading market in the United States. On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report to notify the SEC of its determination that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. The PCAOB identified our auditor as one of the registered public accounting firms that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely. After we file this annual report on Form 20-F, we may be identified by the SEC under the HFCAA as having filed audit reports issued by a registered public accounting firm that cannot be inspected or investigated completely by the PCAOB.
Whether the PCAOB will be able to conduct inspections of our auditor before the issuance of our financial statements on Form 20-F for the year ending December 31, 2023 which is due by April 30, 2024, or at all, is subject to substantial uncertainty and depends on a number of factors out of our, and our auditor’s control. If our shares are prohibited from trading in the United States, there is no certainty we will be able to list on any stock exchange or trading markets to facilitate the trading in our securities. Such a prohibition would substantially impair your ability to sell or purchase our ordinary shares when you wish to do so, and the risk and uncertainty associated with delisting would have a negative impact on the price of our ordinary shares. Also, such a prohibition would significantly affect our ability to raise capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all, which would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and prospects.
On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a bill which would reduce the number of consecutive non-inspection years required for triggering the prohibitions under the HFCAA from three years to two. On February 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which contained, among other things, an identical provision. If this provision is enacted into law and the number of consecutive non-inspection years required for triggering the prohibitions under the HFCAA is reduced from three years to two, then our shares could be prohibited from trading in the United States as early as 2023.
PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions conducted by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.
The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, adopted by six PRC regulatory agencies in August 2006 and amended in June 2009, among other things, established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. In addition, the Implementing Rules Concerning Security Review on the Mergers and Acquisitions by Foreign Investors of Domestic Enterprises, or the Rules Concerning Security Review on M&A, issued by the Ministry of Commerce in August 2011, specify that mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors involved in “an industry related to national security” are subject to strict review by the Ministry of Commerce, and prohibit any activities attempting to bypass such security review, including by structuring the transaction through a proxy or contractual control arrangement. We believe that our business is not in an industry related to national security, but we cannot preclude the possibility that the competent PRC government authorities may publish explanations contrary to our understanding or broaden the scope of such security reviews in the future, in which case our future acquisitions and investment in the PRC, including those by way of entering into contractual control arrangements with target entities, may be closely scrutinized or prohibited. Moreover, according to the Anti-Monopoly Law, the SMAR shall be notified in advance of any concentration of undertaking if certain filing thresholds are triggered. We may grow our business in part by directly acquiring complementary businesses in China. Complying with the requirements of the laws and regulations mentioned above and other PRC regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval from the SMAR, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share. Our ability to expand our business or maintain or expand our market share through future acquisitions would as such be materially and adversely affected.
In December 2020, the NDRC and the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Measures for the Security Review of Foreign Investment, which came into effect on January 18, 2021. As these measures are recently promulgated, official guidance has not been issued by the relevant government authority. The interpretation of those measures remains unclear in many aspects such as whether these measures may apply to foreign investment that is implemented or completed before the enactment of these new measures. We cannot assure you that our current business operations will remain fully compliant, or we can adapt our business operations to new regulatory requirements on a timely basis, or at all.
PRC regulation of loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may delay or prevent us from using offshore funds to make loans or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries.
Under PRC laws and regulations, we are permitted to utilize offshore funds to fund our PRC subsidiaries by making loans to or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary, subject to applicable government registration and approval requirements.
Any loans to our PRC subsidiary, which are treated as foreign-invested enterprises under PRC laws, are subject to PRC regulations and foreign exchange loan registrations. For example, loans by us to our PRC subsidiary to finance their activities cannot exceed statutory limits and must be registered with the local counterpart of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE. The statutory limit for the total amount of foreign debts of a foreign-invested company is the difference between the amount of total investment as approved by the MOFCOM or its local counterpart and the amount of registered capital of such foreign-invested company.
We may also decide to finance our PRC subsidiaries by means of capital contributions. These capital contributions must be approved by the MOFCOM or its local counterpart. In addition, SAFE issued a circular in September 2008, SAFE Circular 142, regulating the conversion by a foreign-invested enterprise of foreign currency registered capital into RMB by restricting how the converted RMB may be used. SAFE Circular 142 provides that the RMB capital converted from foreign currency registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable government authority and unless otherwise provided by law, may not be used for equity investments within the PRC. Although on July 4, 2014, the SAFE issued the Circular of the SAFE on Relevant Issues Concerning the Pilot Reform in Certain Areas of the Administrative Method of the Conversion of Foreign Exchange Funds by Foreign-invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 36, which launched a pilot reform of the administration of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign-invested enterprises in certain designated areas from August 4, 2014 and some of the restrictions under SAFE Circular 142 will not apply to the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of the foreign-invested enterprises established within the designate areas and such enterprises mainly engaging in investment are allowed to use its RMB capital converted from foreign exchange capitals to make equity investment, our PRC subsidiary is not established within the designated areas. On March 30, 2015, SAFE promulgated Circular 19, to expand the reform nationwide. Circular 19 came into force and replaced both Circular 142 and Circular 36 on June 1, 2015. Circular 19 allows foreign-invested enterprises to make equity investments by using RMB fund converted from foreign exchange capital. However, Circular 19 continues to prohibit foreign-invested enterprises from, among other things, using RMB fund converted from its foreign exchange capitals for expenditure beyond its business scope, providing entrusted loans or repaying loans between non-financial enterprises. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight of the flow and use of the RMB capital converted from foreign currency registered capital of a foreign-invested company. The use of such RMB capital may not be altered without SAFE’s approval, and such RMB capital may not in any case be used to repay RMB loans if the proceeds of such loans have not been used. Violations of these Circulars could result in severe monetary or other penalties. These circulars may significantly limit our ability to use RMB converted from offshore funds to fund the establishment of new entities in China by our PRC subsidiary, to invest in or acquire any other PRC companies through our PRC subsidiary, or to establish new variable interest entities in the PRC.
In light of the various requirements imposed by PRC regulations on loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies, we cannot assure you that we will be able to complete the necessary government registrations or obtain the necessary government approvals on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future loans to our PRC subsidiary or future capital contributions by us to our PRC subsidiary. If we fail to complete such registrations or obtain such approvals, our ability to use offshore funds to capitalize or otherwise fund our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore special purpose companies by PRC residents may limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us.
The Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for PRC Residents to Engage in Financing and Inbound Investment via Overseas Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular No. 75, and a series of implementation rules and guidance issued by SAFE, including the circular relating to operating procedures that came into effect in July 2011, require PRC residents and PRC corporate entities to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct or indirect offshore investment in an overseas special purpose vehicle, or SPV, for the purposes of overseas equity financing activities, and to update such registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to that offshore company. SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular No. 37, on July 4, 2014, which replaced the SAFE Circular No. 75. SAFE Circular No. 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in SAFE Circular No. 37 as a “special purpose vehicle.” The term “control” under SAFE Circular No. 37 is broadly defined as the operation rights, beneficiary rights or decision-making rights acquired by the PRC residents in the offshore special purpose vehicles or PRC companies by such means as acquisition, trust, proxy, voting rights, repurchase, convertible bonds or other arrangements. SAFE Circular No. 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any changes with respect to the basic information of the special purpose vehicle, such as changes in a PRC resident individual shareholder, name or operation period; or any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. If the shareholders of the offshore holding company who are PRC residents do not complete their registration with the local SAFE branches, the PRC subsidiaries may be prohibited from distributing their profits and proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation to the offshore company, and the offshore company may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital to its PRC subsidiaries. Moreover, failure to comply with SAFE registration and amendment requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of applicable foreign exchange restrictions. On February 28, 2015, SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015. In accordance with SAFE Notice 13, entities and individuals are required to apply for foreign exchange registration of foreign direct investment and overseas direct investment, including those required under the SAFE Circular No. 37, with qualified banks, instead of SAFE. The qualified banks, under the supervision of SAFE, directly examine the applications and conduct the registration.
In addition, our shareholders who are PRC entities shall complete their overseas direct investment filings according to applicable laws and regulations regarding the overseas direct investment by PRC entities, including certificates, filings or registrations with the MOFCOM and the NDRC, or the local branch of the MOFCOM and NDRC based on the investment amount, invested industry or other factors thereof, and shall also update or apply for amendment in respect to the certificates, filings or registrations in the event of any significant changes with respect to the offshore investment.
We have notified holders of ordinary shares of our company whom we know are PRC residents to register with the local SAFE branch and update their registrations as required under the SAFE regulations described above. We, however, cannot provide any assurances that all of our shareholders who are PRC residents will file all applicable registrations or update previously filed registrations as required by these SAFE regulations. The failure or inability of our PRC resident shareholders to comply with the registration procedures or other applicable PRC regulations may subject the PRC resident shareholders to fines and legal sanctions, restrict our cross-border investment activities, or limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to or obtain foreign exchange-dominated loans from our company.
As it is uncertain how the SAFE regulations described above will be interpreted or implemented, we cannot predict how these regulations will affect our business operations or future strategy. For example, we may be subject to more stringent review and approval process with respect to our foreign exchange activities, such as remittance of dividends and foreign currency-denominated borrowings, which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, if we decide to acquire a PRC domestic company, we cannot assure you that we or the owners of such company will be able to obtain the necessary approvals or complete the necessary filings and registrations required by the SAFE regulations. This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.
Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.
To date, substantially all of our revenues and expenditures have been denominated in RMB, whereas our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. As a result, fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and RMB will affect the relative purchasing power in RMB terms of our U.S. dollar assets. Our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar while the functional currency for our PRC subsidiaries is RMB. Gains and losses from the remeasurement of assets and liabilities that are receivable or payable in RMB are included in our consolidated statements of operations. The remeasurement has caused the U.S. dollar value of our results of operations to vary with exchange rate fluctuations, and the U.S. dollar value of our results of operations will continue to vary with exchange rate fluctuations. A fluctuation in the value of RMB relative to the U.S. dollar could reduce our profits from operations and the translated value of our net assets when reported in U.S. dollars in our financial statements. This could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations as reported in U.S. dollars. If we decide to convert our RMB into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends on our ordinary shares or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us. In addition, fluctuations in currencies relative to the periods in which the earnings are generated may make it more difficult to perform period-to-period comparisons of our reported results of operations.
There remains significant international pressure on the PRC government to adopt a flexible currency policy. Any significant appreciation or depreciation of the RMB may materially and adversely affect our revenues, earnings and financial position, and the value of, and any dividends payable on, our ordinary shares in U.S. dollars. For example, to the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars into RMB to pay our operating expenses, appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the RMB amount we would receive from the conversion. Conversely, a significant depreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar may significantly reduce the U.S. dollar equivalent of our earnings, which in turn could adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares.
Very limited hedging options are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedges may be limited and we may not be able to adequately hedge our exposure or at all. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by PRC exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert RMB into foreign currency. As a result, fluctuations in exchange rates may have a material adverse effect on your investment.
Regulatory bodies of the United States may be limited in their ability to conduct investigations or inspections of our operations in China.
From time to time, the Company may receive requests from certain U.S. agencies to investigate or inspect the Company’s operations, or to otherwise provide information. While the Company will be compliant with these requests from these regulators, there is no guarantee that such requests will be honored by those entities who provide services to us or with whom we associate, especially as those entities are located in China. Furthermore, an on-site inspection of our facilities by any of these regulators may be limited or entirely prohibited. Such inspections, though permitted by the Company and its affiliates, are subject to the unpredictability of the Chinese enforcers, and may therefore be impossible to facilitate.
Enhanced scrutiny over acquisition transactions by the PRC tax authorities may have a negative impact on potential acquisitions we may pursue in the future.
The PRC tax authorities have enhanced their scrutiny over the direct or indirect transfer of certain taxable assets, including, in particular, equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise, by a non-resident enterprise by promulgating and implementing SAT Circular 59 and Circular 698, which became effective in January 2008, and a Circular 7 in replacement of some of the existing rules in Circular 698, which became effective in February 2015.
Under Circular 698, where a non-resident enterprise conducts an “indirect transfer” by transferring the equity interests of a PRC “resident enterprise” indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an overseas holding company, the non-resident enterprise, being the transferor, may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax, if the indirect transfer is considered to be an abusive use of company structure without reasonable commercial purposes. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC tax at a rate of up to 10%. Circular 698 also provides that, where a non-PRC resident enterprise transfers its equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise to its related parties at a price lower than the fair market value, the relevant tax authority has the power to make a reasonable adjustment to the taxable income of the transaction.
In February 2015, the SAT issued Circular 7 to replace the rules relating to indirect transfers in Circular 698. Circular 7 has introduced a new tax regime that is significantly different from that under Circular 698. Circular 7 extends its tax jurisdiction to not only indirect transfers set forth under Circular 698 but also transactions involving transfer of other taxable assets, through the offshore transfer of a foreign intermediate holding company. In addition, Circular 7 provides clearer criteria than Circular 698 on how to assess reasonable commercial purposes and has introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity through a public securities market. Circular 7 also brings challenges to both the foreign transferor and transferee (or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer) of the taxable assets. Where a non-resident enterprise conducts an “indirect transfer” by transferring the taxable assets indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an overseas holding company, the non-resident enterprise being the transferor, or the transferee, or the PRC entity which directly owned the taxable assets may report to the relevant tax authority such indirect transfer. Using a “substance over form” principle, the PRC tax authority may disregard the existence of the overseas holding company if it lacks a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of reducing, avoiding or deferring PRC tax. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer is obligated to withhold the applicable taxes, currently at a rate of 10% for the transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise.
We face uncertainties on the reporting and consequences on future private equity financing transactions, share exchange or other transactions involving the transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises. The PRC tax authorities may pursue such non-resident enterprises with respect to a filing or the transferees with respect to withholding obligation and request our PRC subsidiaries to assist in the filing. As a result, we and non-resident enterprises in such transactions may become at risk of being subject to filing obligations or being taxed, under Circular 59 or Circular 698 and Circular 7, and may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Circular 59, Circular 698 and Circular 7 or to establish that we and our non-resident enterprises should not be taxed under these circulars, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The PRC tax authorities have the discretion under SAT Circular 59, Circular 698 and Circular 7 to make adjustments to the taxable capital gains based on the difference between the fair value of the taxable assets transferred and the cost of investment. Although we currently have no plans to pursue any acquisitions in China or elsewhere in the world, we may pursue acquisitions in the future that may involve complex corporate structures. If we are considered a non-resident enterprise under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and if the PRC tax authorities make adjustments to the taxable income of the transactions under SAT Circular 59 or Circular 698 and Circular 7, our income tax costs associated with such potential acquisitions will be increased, which may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Shareholders may experience difficulties in effecting service of legal process, enforcing foreign judgments, including those obtained in the U.S., or bringing actions in China against us or our management based on foreign laws.
We are a holding company incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands. We have historically conducted most of our operations in China. In addition, most of our key employees and directors are PRC residents and reside within China. As a result, it may be difficult for our shareholders to effect service of process upon us or those persons inside mainland China, including our management. In addition, China does not have treaties providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts with the British Virgin Islands and many other countries and regions. Therefore, recognition and enforcement in China of judgments of a court in any of these non-PRC jurisdictions, including the U.S., in relation to any matter not subject to a binding arbitration provision may be difficult or impossible.
Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares
The trading price of our common stock is subject to arbitrary pricing factors that are not necessarily associated with traditional factors that influence stock prices or the value of non-bitcoin assets such as revenue, cash flows, profitability, growth prospects or business activity levels since the value and price, as determined by the investing public, may be influenced by future anticipated adoption or appreciation in value of cryptocurrencies or blockchains generally, factors over which we have little or no influence or control.
Other factors which could cause volatility in the market price of our common stock include, but are not limited to:
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our financial condition and operating results or those of companies perceived to be similar to us;|
|●||actual or anticipated changes in our growth rate relative to our competitors;|
|●||commercial success and market acceptance of blockchain and bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies;|
|●||actions by our competitors, such as new business initiatives, acquisitions and divestitures;|
|●||strategic transactions undertaken by us;|
|●||additions or departures of key personnel;|
|●||prevailing economic conditions;|
|●||disputes concerning our intellectual property or other proprietary rights;|
|●||sales of our common stock by our officers, directors or significant stockholders;|
|●||other actions taken by our stockholders;|
|●||future sales or issuances of equity or debt securities by us;|
|●||business disruptions caused by earthquakes, tornadoes or other natural disasters;|
|●||issuance of new or changed securities analysts’ reports or recommendations regarding us;|
|●||legal proceedings involving our company, our industry or both;|
|●||changes in market valuations of companies similar to ours;|
|●||the prospects of the industry in which we operate;|
|●||speculation or reports by the press or investment community with respect to us or our industry in general;|
|●||the level of short interest in our stock; and|
|●||other risks, uncertainties and factors described in this annual report.|
In addition, the stock markets in general have experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of the issuer. These broad market fluctuations may negatively impact the price or liquidity of our common stock. When the price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have sometimes instituted securities class action litigation against the issuer.
We may be unable to comply with the applicable continued listing requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market, which may adversely impact our access to capital markets and may cause us to default certain of our agreements.
Our common stock is currently traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market. Nasdaq rules require us to maintain a minimum closing bid price of $1.00 per share of our common stock. The closing bid price of our common stock fell below $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive trading days, so we were not in compliance with Nasdaq’s rules for listing standards. Although we regained compliance, there can be no assurance we will continue to meet the minimum bid price requirements or any other requirements in the future, in which case our common stock could be delisted.
In the event that our common stock is delisted from Nasdaq and is not eligible for quotation or listing on another market or exchange, trading of our common stock could be conducted only in the over-the-counter market or on an electronic bulletin board established for unlisted securities such as the OTC. In such event, it could become more difficult to dispose of, or obtain accurate price quotations for our common stock and there would likely also be a reduction in our coverage by securities analysts and the news media, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline further. In addition, our ability to raise additional capital may be severely impacted, which may negatively affect our plans and the results of our operations.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by whether industry or securities analysts publish research and reports about us, our business, our market or our competitors and, if any analysts do publish such reports, what they publish in those reports. We may not obtain or maintain analyst coverage in the future. Any analysts that do cover us may make adverse recommendations regarding our stock, adversely change their recommendations from time to time and/or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors. If analysts who may cover us in the future were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, or if analysts fail to cover us or publish reports about us at all, we could lose (or never gain) visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the stock price of our common stock or trading volume to decline. Moreover, if our operating results do not meet the expectations of the investor community, one or more of the analysts who cover our company may change their recommendations regarding our company and our stock price could decline.
Our ordinary shares may be thinly traded and you may be unable to sell at or near ask prices or at all if you need to sell your shares to raise money or otherwise desire to liquidate your shares.
Our ordinary shares may be “thinly-traded”, meaning that the number of persons interested in purchasing our ordinary shares at or near bid prices at any given time may be relatively small or non-existent. This situation may be attributable to a number of factors, including the fact that we are relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume, and that even if we came to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and might be reluctant to follow an unproven company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we became more seasoned. As a consequence, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal or non-existent, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous sales without an adverse effect on share price. Broad or active public trading market for our ordinary shares may not develop or be sustained.
Volatility in our ordinary shares price may subject us to securities litigation.
The market for our ordinary shares may have, when compared to seasoned issuers, significant price volatility and we expect that our share price may continue to be more volatile than that of a seasoned issuer for the indefinite future. In the past, plaintiffs have often initiated securities class action litigation against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We may, in the future, be the target of similar litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and liabilities and could divert management’s attention and resources.
We are not likely to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
We currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. Accordingly, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future but will review this policy as circumstances dictate. Should we determine to pay dividends in the future, our ability to do so will depend upon the receipt of dividends or other payments from WFOE. WFOE may, from time to time, be subject to restrictions on its ability to make distributions to us, including restrictions on the conversion of RMB into U.S. dollars or other hard currency and other regulatory restrictions.
You may face difficulties in protecting your interests as a shareholder, as the laws of British Virgin Islands provides substantially less protection when compared to the laws of the United States and it may be difficult for a shareholder of ours to effect service of process or to enforce judgements obtained in the United States courts.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association and by the Companies Law (2016 Revision) and common law of the British Virgin Islands. The rights of shareholders to take legal action against our directors and us, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under British Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the British Virgin Islands. The common law of the British Virgin Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the British Virgin Islands as well as from English common law. Decisions of the Privy Council (which is the final court of appeal for British overseas territories such as the British Virgin Islands) are binding on a court in the British Virgin Islands. Decisions of the English courts, and particularly the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Court of Appeal are generally of persuasive authority but are not binding on the courts of the British Virgin Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under British Virgin Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in the United States. In particular, the British Virgin Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States and provide significantly less protection to investors. In addition,British Virgin Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action before the United States federal courts. The British Islands courts are also unlikely to impose liabilities against us in original actions brought in the British Virgin Islands, based on certain civil liability provisions of United States securities laws.
As of December 31, 2021, all of our operations are conducted outside the United States, and substantially all of our assets are located outside the United States. All of our directors and officers are nationals or residents of jurisdictions other than the United States and a substantial portion of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for a shareholder to effect service of process within the United States upon these persons, or to enforce against us or them judgments obtained in United States courts, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.
As a result of all of the above, our shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests through actions against us or our officers, directors or major shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States.
We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to United States domestic public companies.
We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act. As such, we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to United States domestic public companies. For example:
|●||we are not required to provide as many Exchange Act reports, or as frequently, as a domestic public company;|
|●||for interim reporting, we are permitted to comply solely with our home country requirements, which are less rigorous than the rules that apply to domestic public companies;|
|●||we are not required to provide the same level of disclosure on certain issues, such as executive compensation;|
|●||we are exempt from provisions of Regulation FD aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information;|
|●||we are not required to comply with the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act; and|
|●||we are not required to comply with Section 16 of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and establishing insider liability for profits realized from any “short-swing” trading transaction.|
|●||We currently intend to file annual reports on Form 20-F and reports on Form 6-K as a foreign private issuer. Accordingly, our shareholders may not have access to certain information they may deem important.|
If we are classified as a passive foreign investment company, United States taxpayers who own our ordinary shares may have adverse United States federal income tax consequences.
A non-U.S. corporation such as ourselves will be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which is known as a PFIC, for any taxable year if, for such year, either
|●||at least 75% of our gross income for the year is passive income; or|
|●||the average percentage of our assets (determined at the end of each quarter) during the taxable year which produce passive income or which are held for the production of passive income is at least 50%.|
Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, rents and royalties (other than rents or royalties derived from the active conduct of a trade or business) and gains from the disposition of passive assets.
If we are determined to be a PFIC for any taxable year (or portion thereof) that is included in the holding period of a U.S. taxpayer who holds our ordinary shares, the U.S. taxpayer may be subject to increased U.S. federal income tax liability and may be subject to additional reporting requirements.
Depending on the amount of cash we raise in a public offering completed in March 2018, together with any other assets held for the production of passive income, it is possible that, for our 2018 taxable year or for any subsequent year, more than 50% of our assets may be assets which produce passive income. We will make this determination following the end of any particular tax year. Although the law in this regard is unclear, we treat our consolidated affiliated entities as being owned by us for United States federal income tax purposes, not only because we exercise effective control over the operation of such entities but also because we are entitled to substantially all of their economic benefits, and, as a result, we consolidate their operating results in our consolidated financial statements. For purposes of the PFIC analysis, in general, a non-U.S. corporation is deemed to own its pro rata share of the gross income and assets of any entity in which it is considered to own at least 25% of the equity by value.
For a more detailed discussion of the application of the PFIC rules to us and the consequences to U.S. taxpayers if we were determined to be a PFIC, see “Item 10.E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Taxation — Passive Foreign Investment Company.”
We expect that our capital expenditures in fiscal year 2022 will be incurred primarily in connection with the purchase of bitcoin mining machines, additional computer equipment and IT server to support our services.
ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
History and Development of the Company
Our Company was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on May 18, 2021. On August 16, 2021, the Company completed a redomicile merger with its predecessor company, Moxian, Inc., a Nevada corporation pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into on May 28, 2021, wherein it acquired all the assets, liabilities, rights, obligations and operations of the latter and its subsidiaries, through an exchange of an identical number of its ordinary shares.
On October 25, 2021, the Board approved to re-designate 50,000,000 of its authorized but unissued ordinary shares of par value of $0.001 each (the “Ordinary Shares”) as 50,000,000 preferred shares of par value of $0.00101 each (the “Preferred Shares”) and amend its Memorandum and Articles of Association, among other things, to specify the rights attaching to the preferred shares. On October 28, 2021, the Company filed its Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association (the “Amended and Restated M&A”) with the British Virgin Islands Registrar of Corporate Affairs. The Company is authorized to issue 150,000,000 Ordinary Shares and 50,000,000 Preferred Shares pursuant to the Amended and Restated M&A.
On November 11, 2021, the Board approved to issue 5,000,000 Preferred Shares to Bridgeforrest (BVI) Inc., a holding company owned by Conglin (Forrest) Deng , the Chief Executive Officer and an Executive Director of the Company, for gross proceeds of $5,000,000. The shares were issued on December 1, 2021.
On December 28, 2021, in a Special Meeting, the shareholders approved the issue of up to 20 million new ordinary shares of the Company, at a price of $2.50 per share to certain non-US based accredited investors. On February 11, 2022, the Company completed this private placement and issued 16,000,000 new shares, raising $40 million, which it will use in bitcoin mining in order to diversify its business operations. Of the proceeds raised, $29.8 million was used to purchase relevant equipment and the balance will be used as working capital.
Our predecessor company, Moxian, Inc (“Moxian”) was incorporated in the State of Nevada, United States of America, on October 12, 2010. It was uplisted to the Nasdaq Capital Market on November 14, 2016, operating as an O2O enterprise, with two major lines of business mobile applications linking small and medium enterprises to its network platform and digital advertising through a partnership with Xinhua New Media, which operates the official app of the New China News Agency, a state-backed media firm. The mobile app business failed to achieve a meaningful share of the market and incurred huge losses, primarily because users found the Moxian app wieldy and not user-friendly. By September 30, 2018, the Company had to halt this business as it ran out of working capital whilst the digital advertising continued.
There were discussions with various parties for strategic partnerships between June 2018 to the end of 2020 but none of these business opportunities materialized.
In August, 2021, Moxian, Inc decided to redomicile to the British Virgin Islands through a merger with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Moxian BVI. Moxian BVI became the surviving company when the merger was completed in August 2021. In September 2021, the Company appointed a new CEO who was tasked to identify new business for the Company in order to broaden its earnings base. Following non-binding expressions of support from some shareholders, the Company decided to venture into bitcoin mining and called for a Special Meeting of shareholders in December 2021 to approve related proposals as noted above.
As of December 31, 2021, the subsidiaries of the Company are as follows:
|Name of Company|
|Moxian CN Samoa Limited||Samoa||February 17, 2014||Investment holding|
|Moxian Group Limited||British Virgin Islands||July 3, 2012||Investment holding|
|Moxian (Hong Kong) Limited||Hong Kong SAR||January 18, 2013||Investment holding|
|Moxian Technology Services (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.||Peoples’ Republic of China||April 8, 2013||Internet Technology, Commercial Information Consulting|
|Moxian Malaysia Sdn.Bhd.||Malaysia||March 1, 2013||Internet Technology|
|Moxian Technologies (Beijing) Co. Ltd.||Peoples’ Republic of China||December 10, 2015||Internet Technology|
|Woodland Corporation Limited||Hong Kong SAR||May 8, 2019||Investment Holding|
|Beijing Bitmatrix Co. Ltd.||Peoples’ Republic of China||December 20, 2019||Internet Technology|
The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure, as of the date of this Report:
Moxian (BVI) Inc
Operations of bitcoin mining
In view of the widespread adoption of blockchain technology and bitcoin worldwide, the Company determined to enter the bitcoin mining industry, which is the production of bitcoin. Management believes that bitcoin mining is profitable and its business plan is viable.
As of the date of this Report, the Company is in the process of identifying suitable sites in the United States for the sole purpose of mining bitcoin. Our facility and mining platform will operate with the primary intent of accumulating bitcoin which we may sell for fiat currency from time to time depending on market conditions and management’s determination of our cash flow needs.
Performance Metrics of bitcoin mining
The Company operates mining hardware which performs computational operations in support of the blockchain measured in “hash rate” or “hashes per second.” A “hash” is the computation run by mining hardware in support of the blockchain; therefore, a miner’s “hash rate” refers to the rate at which it is capable of solving such computations. The original equipment used for mining bitcoin utilized the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer to mine various forms of bitcoin. Due to performance limitations, CPU mining was rapidly replaced by the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which offers significant performance advantages over CPUs. General purpose chipsets like CPUs and GPUs have since been replaced in the mining industry by Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) chips like those found in the MicroBT M21S miner currently utilized by the Company at its mining facility. These ASIC chips are designed specifically to maximize the rate of hashing operations.
The Company measures our mining performance and competitive position based on overall hash rate being produced in our mining sites. The latest equipment the MicroBT M21S miner, performs in the range of approximately 50 - 58 terahash per second (TH/s) per unit, M20S performs in the range of 64 - 68 TH/s per unit, M10 performs in the range of 31 – 35 TH/s per unit; Bitmain T17+ performs with a maximum hashrate of 64 TH/s per unit; Innosilicon T3 performs in the range of 41 – 45 TH/s per unit. This group of mining hardware is on the cutting edge of available mining equipment, however, advances and improvements to the technology are ongoing and may be available in quantities to the market in the near future which may affect our perceived position.
Further affecting the industry, and particularly for the bitcoin blockchain, the cryptocurrency reward for solving a block is subject to periodic incremental halving. Halving is a process designed to control the overall supply and reduce the risk of inflation in cryptocurrencies using a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. At a predetermined block, the mining reward is cut in half, hence the term “halving”. For bitcoin, the reward was initially set at 50 bitcoin currency rewards per block and this was cut in half to 25 in November 28, 2012 at block 210,000 and again to 12.5 on July 9, 2016 at block 420,000 and on May 11, 2020 at block 630,000 when the reward was halved to 6.25. This process will reoccur until the total amount of bitcoin currency rewards issued reaches 21 million, which is expected to occur around 2140.
Network Hash Rate and Difficulty
In cryptocurrency mining, “hash rate” is a measure of the processing speed by a mining computer for a specific coin. An individual miner, such as Riot has a hash rate total of its miners seeking to mine a specific coin, and system wide there is a total has rate of all miners seeking to mine each specific type of coin. The higher total hash rate of a specific miner, as a percentage of the system wide total hash rate, generally results over time in a corresponding higher success rate in coin rewards as compared to miners with lower hash rates.
A “mining pool” is the pooling of resources by miners, who share their processing power over a network and split rewards according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of placing a block on the blockchain. Mining pools emerged in response to the growing difficulty and available hashing power that competes to place a block on the bitcoin blockchain.
The Company participates in mining pools wherein groups of miners associate to pool resources and earn cryptocurrency together allocated to each miner according to the “hashing” capacity they contribute to the pool. As additional miners competed for the limited supply of blocks, individuals found that they were working for months without finding a block and receiving any reward for their mining efforts. To address this variance, miners started organizing into pools to share mining rewards more evenly on a pro rata basis based on total hashing capacity contributed to the mining pool.
The mining pool operator provides a service that coordinates the computing power of the independent mining enterprise. Fees are paid to the mining pool operator to cover the costs of maintaining the pool. The pool uses software that coordinates the pool members’ hashing power, identifies new block rewards, records how much work all the participants are doing, and assigns block rewards for successful algorithm solutions in-proportion to the individual hash rate that each participant contributed to a given successful mining transaction. While we do not pay pool fees directly, pool fees are deducted from amounts we may otherwise earn. Fees (and payouts) fluctuate and historically have been approximately 2% on average.
Mining pools are subject to various risks such as disruption and down time. Riot has internally created software that monitors its hashing performance and reward rates to monitor credits for our contributed hashing power. In the event that a pool experiences down time or not yielding returns, our results may be impacted.
In bitcoin mining, companies, individuals and groups generate units of bitcoin through mining. Miners can range from individual enthusiasts to professional mining operations with dedicated data centers. Miners may organize themselves in mining pools. The Company competes or may in the future compete with other companies that focus all or a portion of their activities on owning or operating bitcoin exchanges, developing programming for the blockchain, and mining activities. At present, the information concerning the activities of these enterprises is not readily available as the vast majority of the participants in this sector do not publish information publicly or the information may be unreliable. Published sources of information include “bitcoin.org” and “blockchain.info”; however, the reliability of that information and its continued availability cannot be assured.
The bitcoin industry is a highly competitive and evolving industry and new competitors and/or emerging technologies could enter the market and affect our competitiveness in the future. For more information regarding those risk factors known to us, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” herein.
The Company’s subsidiary is a general agent for advertisements on the Xinhua app and specializes in the niche fields of mobile games and e-sports. Its clients are all corporate entities
As required by PRC regulations, we participate in various government statutory employee benefit plans, including social insurance funds, namely a pension contribution plan, a medical insurance plan, an unemployment insurance plan, a work-related injury insurance plan and a maternity insurance plan, and a housing provident fund. We are required under PRC law to make contributions to employee benefit plans at specified percentages of the salaries, bonuses and certain allowances of our employees, up to a maximum amount specified by the local government from time to time. As of the date of this report, we have made adequate employee benefit payments. However, if we were found by the relevant authorities that we failed to make adequate payment, we may be required to make up the contributions for these plans as well as to pay late fees and fines. See “Item 3.D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Doing Business in China — Failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefit plans as required by PRC regulations may subject us to penalties.”
We enter into standard labor and confidentiality agreements with our employees. We believe that we maintain a good working relationship with our employees, and we have not experienced any major labor disputes.
We provide social security insurance including pension insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and medical insurance for our employees. We do not maintain business interruption insurance or general third-party liability insurance, nor do we maintain product liability insurance or key-man insurance. We consider our insurance coverage to be sufficient for our business operations in China.
We are currently not a party to any material legal or administrative proceedings. We may from time to time be subject to various legal or administrative claims and proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Litigation or any other legal or administrative proceeding, regardless of the outcome, is likely to result in substantial cost and diversion of our resources, including our management’s time and attention.
This section sets forth a summary of the most significant rules and regulations that affect our business activities in China.
Regulations Relating to Foreign Investment
The Draft PRC Foreign Investment Law
In January 2015, the MOFCOM published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law for public review and comments. The draft law purports to change the existing “case-by-case” approval regime to a “filing or approval” procedure for foreign investments in China. The State Council will determine a list of industry categories that are subject to special administrative measures, which is referred to as a “negative list,” consisting of a list of industry categories where foreign investments are strictly prohibited, or the “prohibited list” and a list of industry categories where foreign investments are subject to certain restrictions, or the “restricted list.” Foreign investments in business sectors outside of the “negative list” will only be subject to a filing procedure, in contrast to the existing prior approval requirements, whereas foreign investments in any industry categories that are on the “restricted list” must apply for approval from the foreign investment administration authority.
The draft for the first time defines a foreign investor not only based on where it is incorporated or organized, but also by using the standard of “actual control.” The draft specifically provides that entities established in China, but “controlled” by foreign investors will be treated as FIEs. Once an entity is considered to be an FIE, it may be subject to the foreign investment restrictions in the “restricted list” or prohibitions set forth in the “prohibited list.” If an FIE proposes to conduct business in an industry subject to foreign investment restrictions in the “restricted list,” the FIE must go through a market entry clearance by the MOFCOM before being established. If an FIE proposes to conduct business in an industry subject to foreign investment prohibitions in the “prohibited list,” it must not engage in the business. However, an FIE that conducts business in an industry that is in the “restricted list,” upon market entry clearance, may apply in writing for being treated as a PRC domestic investment if it is ultimately “controlled” by PRC government authorities and its affiliates and/or PRC citizens. In this connection, “control” is broadly defined in the draft law to cover the following summarized categories: (i) holding 50% or more of the voting rights of the subject entity; (ii) holding less than 50% of the voting rights of the subject entity but having the power to secure at least 50% of the seats on the board or other equivalent decision making bodies, or having the voting power to exert material influence on the board, the shareholders’ meeting or other equivalent decision making bodies; or (iii) having the power to exert decisive influence, via contractual or trust arrangements, over the subject entity’s operations, financial matters or other key aspects of business operations. According to the draft, variable interest entities would also be deemed as FIEs, if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors, and be subject to restrictions on foreign investments. However, the draft law has not taken a position on what actions will be taken with respect to the existing companies with the “variable interest entity” structure, whether or not these companies are controlled by Chinese parties.
The draft emphasizes on the security review requirements, whereby all foreign investments that jeopardize or may jeopardize national security must be reviewed and approved in accordance with the security review procedure. In addition, the draft imposes stringent ad hoc and periodic information reporting requirements on foreign investors and the applicable FIEs. Aside from investment implementation report and investment amendment report that are required at each investment and alteration of investment specifics, an annual report is mandatory, and large foreign investors meeting certain criteria are required to report on a quarterly basis. Any company found to be non-compliant with these information reporting obligations may potentially be subject to fines and/or administrative or criminal liabilities, and the persons directly responsible may be subject to criminal liabilities.
In December 2018, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress published a discussion draft of a new proposed Foreign Investment Law, aiming to replace the major existing laws governing foreign direct investment in China. On January 29, 2019, the discussion draft with slight revisions, or the New Draft Foreign Investment Law, was submitted for review. Pursuant to the New Draft Foreign Investment Law, foreign investments shall be subject to the negative list management system. The “negative list”, which is issued or approved by the State Council, specifies the special management measures for the access of foreign investment in specific areas. If a foreign investor is found to invest in any prohibited industry in the “negative list”, such foreign investor may be required to, among other aspects, suspend its investment activities, dispose of its equity interests or assets in the target companies, and forfeit its income. In addition, if a foreign investor is found to invest in any restricted industry in the “negative list”, the relevant competent department shall require the foreign investor to take the measures to correct itself.
However, the New Draft Foreign Investment Law does not mention the “actual control” as regulated in the previous draft and the position to be taken with respect to existing or future companies with the “variable interest entity” structure. On March 15, 2019, the Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China, or the Final Foreign Investment Law, with slight revision, is finally issued and will become effective on January 1, 2020. Although variable interest entity structures are not included in the Final Foreign Investment Law, it is uncertain whether any interpretation and implementation of the Final Foreign Investment Law or new PRC laws, rules or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide.
When the Final Foreign Investment Law becomes effective, the trio of existing laws regulating foreign investment in China, namely, the Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law, the Sino-foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law and the Wholly Foreign-invested Enterprise Law, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations, will be abolished. The FIEs established in accordance with the Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law, the Sino-foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law and the Wholly Foreign-invested Enterprise Law before the Final Foreign Investment Law becomes effective, may keep their original organizational forms for five years after the effectiveness of the Final Foreign Investment Law. See “Risk Factors—Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation of draft PRC Foreign Investment Law and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.”
Industry Catalog Relating to Foreign Investment
Investment activities in the PRC by foreign investors are principally governed by the Guidance Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment, or the Catalog, which was promulgated and is amended from time to time by the MOFCOM and the National Development and Reform Commission. Industries listed in the Catalog are divided into three categories: encouraged, restricted and prohibited. Industries not listed in the Catalog are generally deemed as constituting a fourth “permitted” category. Establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises is generally allowed in encouraged and permitted industries. Some restricted industries are limited to equity or contractual joint ventures, while in some cases Chinese partners are required to hold the majority interests in such joint ventures. In addition, restricted category projects are subject to higher-level government approvals. Foreign investors are not allowed to invest in industries in the prohibited category. Industries not listed in the Catalog are generally open to foreign investment unless specifically restricted by other PRC regulations.
Our PRC subsidiary is mainly engaged in providing investment and financing consultations and technical services, which fall into the “encouraged” or “permitted” category under the Catalog. Our PRC subsidiary has obtained all material approvals required for its business operations. However, industries such as value-added telecommunication services (except e-commerce), including Internet information services, are restricted from foreign investment. We provide the value-added telecommunication services that are in the “restricted” category through our consolidated variable interest entities.
Regulations on Internet Information Security
Internet information in China is also regulated and restricted from a national security standpoint. The National People’s Congress, China’s national legislative body, has enacted the Decisions on Maintaining Internet Security, which may subject violators to criminal punishment in China for any effort to: (i) gain improper entry into a computer or system of strategic importance; (ii) disseminate politically disruptive information; (iii) leak state secrets; (iv) spread false commercial information; or (v) infringe intellectual property rights. The Ministry of Public Security has promulgated measures that prohibit use of the internet in ways which, among other things, result in a leakage of state secrets or a spread of socially destabilizing content. If an internet information service provider violates these measures, the Ministry of Public Security and the local security bureaus may revoke its operating license and temporarily suspend its websites.
In addition, the Guidelines jointly released by ten PRC regulatory agencies in July 2015 purport, among other things, to require internet finance service providers, including peer-to-peer lending platforms, to improve technology security standards, and safeguard customer and transaction information. The PBOC and other relevant regulatory authorities will jointly adopt the implementing rules and technology security standards.
Regulations on Privacy Protection
In recent years, PRC government authorities have enacted laws and regulations on internet use to protect personal information from any unauthorized disclosure. Under the Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services, issued by the MIIT in December 2011, an Internet information service provider may not collect any user personal information or provide any such information to third parties without the consent of a user. An Internet information service provider must expressly inform the users of the method, content and purpose of the collection and processing of such user personal information and may only collect such information necessary for the provision of its services. An Internet information service provider is also required to properly maintain the user personal information, and in case of any leak or likely leak of the user personal information, the Internet information service provider must take immediate remedial measures and, in severe circumstances, make an immediate report to the telecommunications regulatory authority. In addition, pursuant to the Decision on Strengthening the Protection of Online Information issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in December 2012 and the Order for the Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User Personal Information issued by the MIIT in July 2013, any collection and use of user personal information must be subject to the consent of the user, abide by the principles of legality, rationality and necessity and be within the specified purposes, methods and scopes. An Internet information service provider must also keep such information strictly confidential, and is further prohibited from divulging, tampering or destroying of any such information, or selling or providing such information to other parties. An Internet information service provider is required to take technical and other measures to prevent the collected personal information from any unauthorized disclosure, damage or loss. Any violation of these laws and regulations may subject the Internet information service provider to warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, revocation of licenses, cancellation of filings, closedown of websites or even criminal liabilities. The Guidelines jointly released by ten PRC regulatory agencies in July 2015 also prohibit internet finance service providers, including online peer-to-peer lending platforms, from illegally selling or disclosing customers’ personal information. The PBOC and other relevant regulatory authorities will jointly adopt the implementing rules. Pursuant to the Ninth Amendment to the Criminal Law issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in August 2015 and becoming effective in November, 2015, any internet service provider that fails to fulfill the obligations related to internet information security administration as required by applicable laws and refuses to rectify upon orders, shall be subject to criminal penalty for the result of (i) any dissemination of illegal information in large scale; (ii) any severe effect due to the leakage of the client’s information; (iii) any serious loss of criminal evidence; or (iv) other severe situation, and any individual or entity that (i) sells or provides personal information to others in a way violating the applicable law, or (ii) steals or illegally obtain any personal information, shall be subject to criminal penalty in severe situation.
Regulations Relating to Dividend Withholding Tax
Pursuant to the Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules, if a non-resident enterprise has not set up an organization or establishment in the PRC, or has set up an organization or establishment but the income derived has no actual connection with such organization or establishment, it will be subject to a withholding tax on its PRC-sourced income at a rate of 10%. Pursuant to the Arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Tax Evasion on Income, the withholding tax rate in respect to the payment of dividends by a PRC enterprise to a Hong Kong enterprise is reduced to 5% from a standard rate of 10% if the Hong Kong enterprise directly holds at least 25% of the PRC enterprise. Pursuant to the Notice of the State Administration of Taxation on the Issues concerning the Application of the Dividend Clauses of Tax Agreements, or Circular 81, a Hong Kong resident enterprise must meet the following conditions, among others, in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax: (i) it must directly own the required percentage of equity interests and voting rights in the PRC resident enterprise; and (ii) it must have directly owned such percentage in the PRC resident enterprise throughout the 12 months prior to receiving the dividends. There are also other conditions for enjoying the reduced withholding tax rate according to other relevant tax rules and regulations. In August 2015, the State Administration of Taxation promulgated the Administrative Measures for Non-Resident Taxpayers to Enjoy Treatments under Tax Treaties, or Circular 60, which became effective on November 1, 2015. Circular 60 provides that non-resident enterprises are not required to obtain pre-approval from the relevant tax authority in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax rate. Instead, non-resident enterprises and their withholding agents may, by self-assessment and on confirmation that the prescribed criteria to enjoy the tax treaty benefits are met, directly apply the reduced withholding tax rate, and file necessary forms and supporting documents when performing tax filings, which will be subject to post-tax filing examinations by the relevant tax authorities.
Regulations on Foreign Currency Exchange
The principal regulations governing foreign currency exchange in China are the Foreign Exchange Administration Regulations, most recently amended in August 2008. Under the PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, such as profit distributions, interest payments and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from SAFE by complying with certain procedural requirements. By contrast, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities is required where RMB is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital account items, such as direct investments, repayment of foreign currency-denominated loans, repatriation of investments and investments in securities outside of China. On February 28, 2015, the SAFE promulgated the Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving the Administration of the Foreign Exchange Concerning Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13. After SAFE Notice 13 became effective on June 1, 2015, instead of applying for approvals regarding foreign exchange registrations of foreign direct investment and overseas direct investment from SAFE, entities and individuals will be required to apply for such foreign exchange registrations from qualified banks. The qualified banks, under the supervision of the SAFE, will directly examine the applications and conduct the registration.
In August 2008, SAFE issued the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues Concerning the Improvement of the Administration of the Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 142, regulating the conversion by a foreign-invested enterprise of foreign currency-registered capital into RMB by restricting how the converted RMB may be used. SAFE Circular 142 provides that the RMB capital converted from foreign currency registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable government authority and may not be used for equity investments within the PRC. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight of the flow and use of the RMB capital converted from foreign currency registered capital of foreign-invested enterprises. The use of such RMB capital may not be changed without SAFE’s approval, and such RMB capital may not in any case be used to repay RMB loans if the proceeds of such loans have not been used. Violations may result in severe monetary or other penalties.
In November 2012, SAFE promulgated the Circular of Further Improving and Adjusting Foreign Exchange Administration Policies on Foreign Direct Investment, which substantially amends and simplifies the current foreign exchange procedure. Pursuant to this circular, the opening of various special purpose foreign exchange accounts, such as pre-establishment expenses accounts, foreign exchange capital accounts and guarantee accounts, the reinvestment of RMB proceeds derived by foreign investors in the PRC, and remittance of foreign exchange profits and dividends by a foreign-invested enterprise to its foreign shareholders no longer require the approval or verification of SAFE, and multiple capital accounts for the same entity may be opened in different provinces, which was not possible previously. In addition, SAFE promulgated another circular in May 2013, which specifies that the administration by SAFE or its local branches over direct investment by foreign investors in the PRC must be conducted by way of registration and banks must process foreign exchange business relating to the direct investment in the PRC based on the registration information provided by SAFE and its branches.
In July 2014, SAFE issued SAFE Circular 36, which purports to reform the administration of settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign-invested enterprises in certain designated areas on a trial basis. Under the pilot program, some of the restrictions under SAFE Circular 142 will not apply to the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of the foreign-invested enterprises established within the designated areas and the enterprises mainly engaging in investment are allowed to use its RMB capital converted from foreign exchange capitals to make equity investment. However, our PRC subsidiary is not established within the designated areas. On March 30, 2015, the SAFE promulgated Circular 19, to expand the reform nationwide. Circular 19 came into force and replaced both Circular 142 and Circular 36 on June 1, 2015. Circular 19 allows foreign-invested enterprises to make equity investments by using RMB fund converted from foreign exchange capital. However, Circular 19 continues to, prohibit foreign-invested enterprises from, among other things, using RMB fund converted from its foreign exchange capitals for expenditure beyond its business scope, providing entrusted loans or repaying loans between non-financial enterprises.
Regulations on Foreign Exchange Registration of Overseas Investment by PRC Residents
SAFE issued SAFE Circular on Relevant Issues Relating to Domestic Resident’s Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, that became effective in July 2014, replacing the previous SAFE Circular 75. SAFE Circular 37 regulates foreign exchange matters in relation to the use of special purpose vehicles, or SPVs, by PRC residents or entities to seek offshore investment and financing or conduct round trip investment in China. Under SAFE Circular 37, a SPV refers to an offshore entity established or controlled, directly or indirectly, by PRC residents or entities for the purpose of seeking offshore financing or making offshore investment, using legitimate onshore or offshore assets or interests, while “round trip investment” refers to direct investment in China by PRC residents or entities through SPVs, namely, establishing foreign-invested enterprises to obtain the ownership, control rights and management rights. SAFE Circular 37 provides that, before making contribution into an SPV, PRC residents or entities are required to complete foreign exchange registration with SAFE or its local branch. SAFE promulgated the Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving the Administration of the Foreign Exchange Concerning Direct Investment in February 2015, which took effect on June 1, 2015. This notice has amended SAFE Circular 37 requiring PRC residents or entities to register with qualified banks rather than SAFE or its local branch in connection with their establishment or control of an offshore entity established for the purpose of overseas investment or financing.
PRC residents or entities who had contributed legitimate onshore or offshore interests or assets to SPVs but had not obtained registration as required before the implementation of the SAFE Circular 37 must register their ownership interests or control in the SPVs with qualified banks. An amendment to the registration is required if there is a material change with respect to the SPV registered, such as any change of basic information (including change of the PRC residents, name and operation term), increases or decreases in investment amount, transfers or exchanges of shares, and mergers or divisions. Failure to comply with the registration procedures set forth in SAFE Circular 37 and the subsequent notice, or making misrepresentation on or failure to disclose controllers of the foreign-invested enterprise that is established through round-trip investment, may result in restrictions being imposed on the foreign exchange activities of the relevant foreign-invested enterprise, including payment of dividends and other distributions, such as proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation, to its offshore parent or affiliate, and the capital inflow from the offshore parent, and may also subject relevant PRC residents or entities to penalties under PRC foreign exchange administration regulations. We are aware that our PRC resident beneficial owners subject to these registration requirements. Mr. Erxin Zeng and Mr. Xiaohui Liu have all fulfilled the registration under relevant SAFE regulations.
Regulations on Stock Incentive Plans
SAFE promulgated the Stock Option Rules in February 2012, replacing the previous rules issued by SAFE in March 2007. Under the Stock Option Rules and other relevant rules and regulations, PRC residents who participate in stock incentive plan in an overseas publicly-listed company are required to register with SAFE or its local branches and complete certain other procedures. Participants of a stock incentive plan who are PRC residents must retain a qualified PRC agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of the overseas publicly listed company or another qualified institution selected by the PRC subsidiary, to conduct the SAFE registration and other procedures with respect to the stock incentive plan on behalf of the participants. In addition, the PRC agent is required to amend the SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the stock incentive plan, the PRC agent or other material changes. The PRC agent must, on behalf of the PRC residents who have the right to exercise the employee share options, apply to SAFE or its local branches for an annual quota for the payment of foreign currencies in connection with the PRC residents’ exercise of the employee share options. The foreign exchange proceeds received by the PRC residents from the sale of shares under the stock incentive plans granted and dividends distributed by the overseas listed companies must be remitted into the bank accounts in the PRC opened by the PRC agents before distribution to such PRC residents.
Regulations Relating to Employment
The PRC Labor Law and the Labor Contract Law require that employers must execute written employment contracts with full-time employees. If an employer fails to enter into a written employment contract with an employee within one year from the date on which the employment relationship is established, the employer must rectify the situation by entering into a written employment contract with the employee and pay the employee twice the employee’s salary for the period from the day following the lapse of one month from the date of establishment of the employment relationship to the day prior to the execution of the written employment contract. All employers must compensate their employees with wages equal to at least the local minimum wage standards. Violations of the PRC Labor Law and the Labor Contract Law may result in the imposition of fines and other administrative sanctions, and serious violations may result in criminal liabilities.
Enterprises in China are required by PRC laws and regulations to participate in certain employee benefit plans, including social insurance funds, namely a pension plan, a medical insurance plan, an unemployment insurance plan, a work-related injury insurance plan and a maternity insurance plan, and a housing provident fund, and contribute to the plans or funds in amounts equal to certain percentages of salaries, including bonuses and allowances, of the employees as specified by the local government from time to time at locations where they operate their businesses or where they are located.
Property, Plant and Equipment
During the year ended December 31, 2021, we leased Units B&C, Block D, Fuhua Tower, 8 Chaoyangmen North Street, Dongcheng District in Beijing at a monthly rental of approximately of $18,900. These office premises of about 560 square metres are too large for our current usage and in March 2022, we moved to a smaller office of about 250 square metres, for which the monthly rental is $9,230 on a two year lease which expires on February 29, 2024. The new office address is Room 1202, Block B, Jiahui Center, 6 Jiqing Li, Chaoyangmenwai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
Because of a change of financial year end from September 30 to December 31, the following discussion considered the results for the year ended December 31, 2021 against that for the year ended September 30, 2020 in order to have a meaningful comparison.
The operating loss of the year was the direct result of the loss of a major client involved in e-sports, an industry which was largely restricted during the year because of the periodic Covid-19 outbreaks in China. Revenue amounted to only $219,330 during this financial year compared with $946,466 for a similar 12-month period ended September 30, 2020.
Recurrent overheads, largely that of office rent and staff costs, increased by 18% for the period due to staff increments and new hires but operating overheads swelled to $1,903,554 compared with $873,750 for the previous year. This was due to higher one-off legal fees and other corporate costs attributable to the redomicile merger in August 2021 and a charge of $262,500 as placement fees for the 3,000,000 ordinary shares in March 2021.
The operating loss for the year was further exacerbated by the provision for doubtful debt amounting to $1,181,916, arising from a dispute with the major client over the development costs of a mobile game which both parties have agreed to jointly develop. The net result was an operating loss of $2,866,140 compared with a gain of $72,716 for the year ended September 30, 2020.
Because of the availability of past and current losses, there was no provision for taxation.
The financial position of the Company improved significantly during the year, following the injection of $3,983,828 from the issue of 3.15 million new shares for cash to a fresh group of investors. This enabled the Company to report a cash balance of $2,507,404 at the end of December, 2021. The Balance Sheet position was further strengthened in December 2021 by the issue of 5 million new preferred shares at $1 per share to the new CEO appointed on September 21, 2021. as the Company sought to enter a new business in bit-coin mining in pursuit of additional revenue.Based on the vast experience of the new CEO, the Company is reasonable confident that the new business will provide a steady stream of earnings.
In December 2021, at a Special Meeting of shareholders, the Company obtained approval to enter into bitcoin mining as an additional business activity to diversify the earnings base, as the outlook for digital advertising remains bleak. 16 million new ordinary shares were issued in February 2022, of which $29.8 million was utilized to purchase equipment and the balance retained as working capital.
The Company is hopeful that with this additional business activity, the fiscal year 2022 should see an improvement in its operating results.
ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES
6A. DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Our directors and executive officers are as follows;
|Conglin Deng||38||Chief Executive Officer and Director|
|Wanhong Tan||68||Chief Financial Officer|
|Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel||58||Independent Director and Audit Chair(1)(2)(3)|
|Tao Xu||34||Independent Director (1)(2)(3)|
|Chuan Zhan||52||Independent Director (1)(2)(3)|
|Panpan Wang||31||Non-Independent Director|
|(1)||Member of Audit Committee|
|(2)||Member of Compensation Committee|
|(3)||Member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee|
Below is a summary of the experience of each of our directors and executive officers.
Mr. Conglin Deng was appointed a director of the Company on August 9, 2021. He has previously served as the General Manager of Beijing Jiuteng Investment Limited since 2016, where he was responsible for managing its blockchain and bitcoin mining related investments. Prior to this engagement as the CEO of the Company, he was a co-founder of a company involved in the operation of online games and games publishing.
Mr. Deng studied at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and graduated in 2007 with a major in English.
Mr. Wanhong Tan has served as our Chief Financial Officer since July 25, 2016. Mr. Tan trained with Grant Thornton in Liverpool, UK and was admitted as an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales) in 1980. He started his career with KPMG Kuala Lumpur in 1981 and in July that year, was promoted to be the Resident Manager of the Penang Office. In 1983, Mr. Tan joined a listed client as the Group Financial Controller before leaving for Sime Darby, Malaysia’s largest Asian-based conglomerate in 1986 as the Group Chief Accountant. He had a successful career with Sime Darby, holding various senior positions over a span of 18 years but left in 2004 following a reorganization of the group. In 2007, Mr. Tan joined Hong Leong Asia, Singapore on a specific assignment in China which he completed in 2009. He then took the post of Head of Investor Relations with 361 Degrees International, a Mainland sportswear group listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. where he stayed for a further six years.
Mr. Lionel Choong Khuat Leok, was appointed to the Board of the predecessor company on May 11, 2018 and reappointed as a director of the company as one of its first directors on August 9, 2021. He has over 33 years of working experience in accounting, auditing, internal control, corporate finance and corporate governance. He started his working career with BDO Binder Hamlyn (“BDO”) in London in 1984 where he was later promoted as the supervisor and manager for the banking and financial services team which managed various projects in structured finance as well as consultation projects for BDO’s client’s initial public offerings. During his term with BDO, Mr. Choong gained the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Certification as a certified accountant.
Mr. Choong is the Chief Financial Officer and board member of Logiq Inc., (OTCQX: LGIQ) since July 17, 2015. Mr. Choong was the Vice Chairman, Audit Committee Chair and an independent non-executive director of Emerson Radio Corp. Inc. (NYSE: MSN) from November 2013 to June 2017. Between April 2009 and June 2015, he was the acting Chief Financial Officer of Global Regency Ltd., 2015 and remains as its consultant. Mr. Choong is a director and consultant for Willsing Company Ltd., a position he has held since August 2004 and Board Advisor to Really Sports Co., Ltd., a position he has held since June 2013. Mr. Choong has a wide range of experience in a variety of senior financial positions with companies in China, Hong Kong SAR, and London, UK. His experience encompasses building businesses, restructuring insolvency, corporate finance, and initial public offerings in a number of vertical markets, including branded apparel, consumer and lifestyle, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and logistics. From June 2008 to May 2011, Mr. Choong was acting Chief Financial Officer of Sinobiomed, Inc. (predecessor company of Logiq, Inc.).
Mr. Choong is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds a corporate finance diploma from this Institute. He is also a CPA and practicing member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Hong Kong Securities Institute. Mr. Choong holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from London Guildhall University, UK, and a Master of Business Administration from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Kellogg School of Management at US Northwestern University.
Based on Mr. Choong’s professional work experience, previous directorships, and education, the Board believes that he is qualified to serve as an independent non-executive director and Audit Committee Chair of the Company.
Mr. Tao Xu was appointed to the Board on October 11, 2021. He graduated from Shandong Lin Yi College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical and mechanical engineering. From March 2018 to December 2019, he had served as the Operations Director of Beijing Qinlin Interactive Limited, a company engaged in the promotion and distribution of online games. Since January 2020, Mr. Xu has been the General Manager of Beijing Jiu Shi Jiu Technology Services Co. Ltd., a provider of bitcoin mining operations and technical services, including the operation, maintenance and trading of bitcoin mining machines. In that role, he is responsible for the company’s bitcoin mining operations and overall business development.
Mr. Chuan Zhan was appointed to the Board on November 30, 2021. He graduated from Changchun Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Water Supply and Drainage, followed by a Research Fellowship and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Hohaii University in Nanjing, China in 1998.
Mr. Zhan is a well-known investor in China, having successfully invested in a number of start-ups and public companies in the sectors of new technologies and renewable energies. Since 2014, he has been the Investment Director at Shenzhen Guojin Investment Co. Ltd and the Founding Member of IFC Capital Limited, a private equity firm. He was also previously a Visiting Professor of Economics at Nanjing University in China.
Ms Panpan Wang was appointed to the Board on March 11, 2022. Ms. Wang has been a Deputy Director at the People’s Health Network Co. Ltd., a health news portal based in Beijing since December 2018 where she is responsible for government relations and market expansion. From August 2013 to December 2018, she had served as a Department Manager with the People’s Daily Online, the largest newspaper group in China. Ms. Wang obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Media Economy from the Communication University of China in 2013 and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Beijing Normal University in 2018.
The following table presents summary information regarding the total compensation awarded to, earned by, or paid to each of the named executive officers for services rendered to us for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020.
|Name and Principal Position||Fiscal|
|Chief Executive Officer(1)|
|Former Chief Executive Officer||2020||-||60,000||60,000|
|Chief Financial Officer||2020||68,500||-||68,500|
|Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel||2021||36,000||36,000|
|Audit Chair, Independent Director||2020||36,000||36,000|
|(1)||Conglin Deng was appointed as our Chief Executive Officer, effective on September 21, 2021.|
|(2)||Qinghu Hao resigned as the Chief Executive Officer, effective on March 24, 2022.|
Employment Agreement with Mr. Conglin Deng
Mr. Deng has an Employment Agreement with the Company as the Chief Executive Officer for a term of three years, commencing from September 20, 2021. He is entitled to an annual base salary of $120,000 and an annual bonus determined at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Deng is awarded 600,000 restricted stock units (“RSUs”) to purchase an equal number of ordinary shares of the Company, subject to the Company’s Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan to be approved by the shareholders at the Company’s next annual meeting. The RSUs will vest in equal installments over thirty-six (36) months of the Employement Agreement.
Employment Agreement with Mr. Wanhong Tan
Mr. Tan has an Employment Agreement with the Company as the Chief Financial Officer for a term of three years, commencing from January 1, 2022. He is entitled to an annual base salary of $120,000 and an annual bonus determined at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Tan is awarded 180,000 restricted stock units (“RSUs”) to purchase an equal number of ordinary shares of the Company, subject to the Company’s Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan to be approved by the shareholders at the Company’s next annual meeting. The RSUs will vest in equal installments over thirty-six (36) months of the Employment Agreement.
6C. BOARD COMMITTEES
Our Board of Directors has established standing committees in connection with the discharge of its responsibilities. These committees include an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Our Board of Directors has adopted written charters for each of these committees. All our three independent directors are members of the board committees. Our Board of Directors may establish other committees as it deems necessary or appropriate from time to time.
Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel, Tao Xu and Chuan Zhang currently serve on the Audit Committe, which is chaired by Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel.
The Audit Committee will be responsible for, among other matters:
|●||appointing, compensating, retaining, evaluating, terminating, and overseeing our independent registered public accounting firm;|
|●||discussing with our independent registered public accounting firm the independence of its members from its management;|
|●||reviewing with our independent registered public accounting firm the scope and results of their audit;|
|●||approving all audit and permissible non-audit services to be performed by our independent registered public accounting firm;|
|●||overseeing the financial reporting process and discussing with management and our independent registered public accounting firm the interim and annual financial statements that we file with the SEC;|
|●||reviewing and monitoring our accounting principles, accounting policies, financial and accounting controls, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements;|
|●||coordinating the oversight by our board of directors of our code of business conduct and our disclosure controls and procedures;|
|●||establishing procedures for the confidential and/or anonymous submission of concerns regarding accounting, internal controls or auditing matters; and|
|●||reviewing and approving related-party transactions.|
Our Board of Directors has affirmatively determined that each of the members of the Audit Committee meets the definition of “independent director” for purposes of serving on an Audit Committee under Rule 10A-3 of the Exchange Act and NASDAQ rules. In addition, our Board of Directors has determined that Lionel Choong qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” as such term is currently defined in Item 407(d)(5) of Regulation S-K and meets the financial sophistication requirements of the NASDAQ rules.
Tao Xu, Chuan Zhan and Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel currently serve on the Compensation Committee, which is chaired by Tao Xu.
The Compensation Committee will be responsible for, among other matters:
|●||reviewing and approving, or recommending to the board of directors to approve the compensation of our CEO and other executive officers and directors;|
|●||reviewing key employee compensation goals, policies, plans and programs;|
|●||administering incentive and equity-based compensation;|
|●||reviewing and approving employment agreements and other similar arrangements between us and our executive officers; and|
|●||appointing and overseeing any compensation consultants or advisors.|
Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee
Chuan Zhan, Tao Xu and Khuat Leok Choong, Lione; currently serve on the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, which is chaired by Chuan Zhan.
The Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee will be responsible for, among other matters:
|●||selecting or recommending for selection candidates for directorships;|
|●||evaluating the independence of directors and director nominees;|
|●||reviewing and making recommendations regarding the structure and composition of our board and the board committees;|
|●||developing and recommending to the board corporate governance principles and practices;|
|●||reviewing and monitoring the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics; and|
|●||overseeing the evaluation of the Company’s management.|
Board of Directors
All directors hold office until the next annual meeting of shareholders or until their successors have been duly elected and qualified. Directors are elected at the annual meetings to serve for a one-year term.
Executive Officers are elected by, and serve at the discretion of, the Board of Directors.
As a smaller reporting company under the NASDAQ rules, we are only required to maintain a board of directors comprised of at least 50% independent directors, and an audit committee of at least two members, comprised solely of independent directors who also meet the requirements of Rule 10A-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We have complied with these requirements in all aspects.
The Board of Directors has reviewed the independence of our directors, applying the NASDAQ independence standards. Based on this review, the Board of Directors determined that each of Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel, Tao Xu and Chuan Zhan are independent within the meaning of the NASDAQ rules. In making this determination, our Board of Directors considered the relationships that each of these non-employee directors has with us and all other facts and circumstances our Board of Directors deemed relevant in determining their independence. As required under applicable NASDAQ rules, we anticipate that our independent directors will meet on a regular basis as often as necessary to fulfill their responsibilities, including at least annually in executive session without the presence of non-independent directors and management.
Involvement in Certain Legal Proceedings
To the best of our knowledge, none of our directors or officers has been convicted in a criminal proceeding, excluding traffic violations or similar misdemeanors, nor has any been a party to any judicial or administrative proceeding during the past five years that resulted in a judgment, decree or final order enjoining the person from future violations of, or prohibiting activities subject to, federal or state securities laws, or a finding of any violation of federal or state securities laws, except for matters that were dismissed without sanction or settlement. Except as set forth in our discussion below in “Related Party Transactions,” our directors and officers have not been involved in any transactions with us or any of our affiliates or associates which are required to be disclosed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC.
The Board of Directors will oversee a company-wide approach to risk management. Our Board of Directors will determine the appropriate risk level for us generally, assess the specific risks faced by us and review the steps taken by management to manage those risks. While our Board of Directors will have ultimate oversight responsibility for the risk management process, its committees will oversee risk in certain specified areas.
Specifically, our Compensation Committee will be responsible for overseeing the management of risks relating to our executive compensation plans and arrangements, and the incentives created by the compensation awards it administers. Our Audit Committee will oversee management of enterprise risks and financial risks, as well as potential conflicts of interests. Our Board of Directors will be responsible for overseeing the management of risks associated with the independence of our Board of Directors.
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
On September 7, 2016, our Board of Directors adopted a code of business conduct and ethics that applies to our directors, officers and employees. We intend to disclose on our website any amendments to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and any waivers of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that apply to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and executive officers.
Insider Trading Policy
Our Company has adopted an Insider Trading Policy which applies to all directors and employees.
As of the date of this Report, the Company has a total of 22 employees full time employees and no part time employees, of which 6 are involved in Finance and Administration and the rest in the digital advertising business in Beijing, PRC.
ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
The following table sets forth information with respect to beneficial ownership of our ordinary shares as of April 30, 2022 by:
|●||Each person who is known by us to beneficially own more than 5% of our outstanding ordinary shares;|
|●||Each of our director, director nominees and named executive officers; and|
|●||All directors and named executive officers as a group.|
The beneficial ownership of ordinary shares is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC and generally includes any ordinary shares over which a person exercises sole or shared voting or investment power. For purposes of the table below, we deem shares subject to options, warrants or other exercisable or convertible securities that are exercisable or convertible currently or within 60 days of April 30, 2022, to be outstanding and to be beneficially owned by the person holding the options, warrants or other currently exercisable or convertible securities for the purposes of computing the percentage ownership of that person but we do not treat them as outstanding for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of any other person. Unless otherwise indicated below, to our knowledge, all persons named in the table have sole voting and investment power with respect to their shares, except to the extent authority is shared by spouses under community property laws.
|Name of Beneficial Owner||Owned||Owned(1)||Voting Power|
|Directors and Executive Officers:|
|Conglin Deng, CEO and Director (2)||-||-||43.4||%|
|Wanhong Tan, CFO||-||-||-|
|Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel, Director||-||-||-|
|Tai Xu, Director||-||-||-|
|Chuan Zhan, Director||-||-||-|
|Panpan Wang, Director||*||*|
|All directors and executive officers as a group (six individuals)||*||43.4||%|
|5% Beneficial Owners:|
|Yunxia Li (3)|
|Yonghui Tao (4)|
|Danqing Sun (5)|
|(1)||The percentage of shares beneficially owned is based on 35,554,677 ordinary shares outstanding as of April 30, 2022.|
|(2)||Mr. Deng is the sole shareholder of Bridgeforrest (BVI) Inc, which holds 5,000,000 preferred shares of the Company. Each preferred share carries three ordinary votes at meetings of shareholders and as a result, Mr. Deng owns has approximately 43.4% of the outstanding voting power. His address is Unit 17-1008, Sanlitun Service Apartments, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.|
|(3)||Address is B5-11B, Hujialou Jiedao, Shengshiyipin, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China|
|(4)||Address is 146 Bajia Village, Songmen Town, Wenling City, Zhejiang Province|
|(5)||Address is 16 Xinjian Road, Xinhe Village, Wenling City, Zhejiang Province, China|
Related Party Transactions
On November 11, 2021, the Board approved to issue 5,000,000 Preferred Shares to Bridgeforrest (BVI) Inc., a holding company owned by Conglin (Forrest) Deng, the Chief Executive Officer and an Executive Director of the Company, for gross proceeds of $5 million. The preferred shares were issued on December 1, 2021. The proceeds are to be used as working capital of the Company.
Interests of Experts and Counsel
Not applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F.
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
8A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
See Item 17 “Financial Statements.”
We are currently not a party to any material legal or administrative proceedings. We may from time to time be subject to various legal or administrative claims and proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Litigation or any other legal or administrative proceeding, regardless of the outcome, is likely to result in substantial cost and diversion of our resources, including our management’s time and attention.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our ordinary shares. We anticipate that we will retain any earnings to support operations and to finance the growth and development of our business. Therefore, we do not expect to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination relating to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on a number of factors, including future earnings, capital requirements, financial conditions and future prospects and other factors the board of directors may deem relevant.
Because we are a holding company with no operations of our own and all of our operations are conducted through our Chinese subsidiary, our ability to pay dividends and to finance any debt that we may incur is dependent upon dividends and other distributions paid.
Payments of dividends by our subsidiary in China to the Company are also subject to restrictions including primarily the restriction that foreign invested enterprises may only buy, sell and/or remit foreign currencies at those banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business after providing valid commercial documents. There are no such similar foreign exchange restrictions in the British Virgin Islands.
8B. Significant Changes
We have not experienced any significant changes since the date of our audited consolidated financial statements included in this annual report.
ITEM 9 THE OFFER AND LISTING DETAILS
Offer and listing details
Our ordinary shares are currently trading under the ticker symbol “MOXC.” The shares began trading on November 16, 2016 on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
Plan of Distribution
Our ordinary shares are currently traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
Expenses of the Issue
ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A. Share Capital
B. Memorandum and Articles of Association
The following represents a summary of certain key provisions of our memorandum and articles of association and the BVI Business Companies Act 2004 of the British Virgin Islands, which we refer to as the Act below.
Registered Office. Under our Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association, the address of our registered office is Floor 4, Banco Popular Building, Road Town, Tortola, VG 1110, British Virgin Islands.
Capacity and Powers. Under Clause 4(1) of our Amended and Restated Memorandum of Association, we have the capacity to carry on or undertake any business or activity, do any act or enter into any transaction.
Directors. Under Article 23 of our Articles of Association, no contract or transaction between us and one or more of our Directors (an “Interested Director”) or officers, or between us and any of their affiliates (an “Interested Transaction”), will be void or voidable solely for this reason, or solely because the director or officer is present at or participates in the meeting of our board or committee which authorizes the contract or transaction, or solely because any such director’s or officer’s votes are counted for such purpose, if:
|(a)||The material facts as to the director’s or officer’s relationship or interest and as to the contract or transaction are disclosed or are known to the our Board of Directors or the committee, and the board or committee in good faith authorizes the contract or transaction by the affirmative votes of a majority of the disinterested directors, even though the disinterested directors be less than a quorum; or|
|(b)||The material facts as to the director’s or officer’s relationship or interest and as to the contract or transaction are disclosed or are known to our shareholders entitled to vote thereon, and the contract or transaction is specifically approved in good faith by vote of our shareholders; or|
|(c)||The contract or transaction is fair as to us as of the time it is authorized, approved or ratified, by the board, a committee or the Shareholders.|
A majority of independent directors must vote in favor of any Interested Transaction and determine that the terms of the Interested Transaction are no less favorable to us than those that would be available to us with respect to such a transaction from unaffiliated third parties.
Our board shall review and approve all payments made to the founders, officers, directors, special advisors, consultants and their respective affiliates and any Interested Director shall abstain from such review and approval.
Rights, Preferences and Restrictions Attaching to Our Ordinary Shares. We are authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares divided into the following classes of shares: (i) 150,000,000 ordinary shares, par valur $0.001 per share; and (ii) 50,000,000 preferred shares, par value $0.00101 per share. As of March 31, 2022, 35,544,041 ordinary shares and 5,000,000 preferred shares were outstanding. Each share, regardless if it is part of a class of ordinary shares, has the right to one vote at a meeting of shareholders or on any resolution of shareholders, the right to an equal share in any dividend paid by us, and the right to an equal share in the distribution of surplus assets. Each preferred share has the right to three votes at a meeting of shareholers or on any resolution of shareholders but does not participate in any distribution of the company. We may by a resolution of the Board of Directors redeem our shares for such consideration as the Board of Directors determines.
Alteration of Rights. The rights attached to any class or series of shares (unless otherwise provided by the terms of issue of the shares of that class or series), whether or not the Company is being wound-up, may be varied with the consent in writing of all the holders of the issued shares of that class or series or with the sanction of a resolution passed by a majority of the votes cast at a separate meeting of the holders of the shares of the class or series.
Meetings. A meeting of Members may be called by not less than ten (10) clear days’ Notice, but a meeting of Members may be called by shorter notice if Members holding a 50 per cent majority of the total voting rights on all the matters to be considered at the meeting have waived notice of the meeting and, for this purpose, the presence of a Member shall be deemed to constitute a waiver on his part. The notice shall specify the time and place of the meeting and the general nature of the business. The accidental omission to give Notice of a meeting or (in cases where instruments of proxy are sent out with the Notice) to send such instrument of proxy to, or the non-receipt of such Notice or such instrument of proxy by, any person entitled to receive such Notice shall not invalidate any resolution passed or the proceedings at that meeting.
Limitations on the Right to Own Securities. There are no limitations on the rights to own our securities, or limitations on the rights of non-resident or foreign shareholders to hold or exercise voting rights on our securities, contained in our Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association (or under British Virgin Islands law).
C. Material Contracts
We have not entered into any material contracts other than in the ordinary course of business and otherwise described elsewhere in this annual report.
D. Exchange Controls
BVI Exchange Controls
There are no material exchange controls restrictions on payment of dividends, interest or other payments to the holders of our ordinary shares or on the conduct of our operations in the BVI. There are no material BVI laws that impose any material exchange controls on us or that affect the payment of dividends, interest or other payments to nonresident holders of our ordinary shares. BVI law and our memorandum and articles of association do not impose any material limitations on the right of non-residents or foreign owners to hold or vote our ordinary shares.
PRC Exchange Controls
Under the Foreign Currency Administration Rules promulgated in 1996 and revised in 1997, and various regulations issued by SAFE and other relevant PRC government authorities, RMB is convertible into other currencies without prior approval from SAFE only to the extent of current account items, such as trade related receipts and payments, interest and dividends and after complying with certain procedural requirements. The conversion of RMB into other currencies and remittance of the converted foreign currency outside PRC for the purpose of capital account items, such as direct equity investments, loans and repatriation of investment, requires the prior approval from SAFE or its local office. Payments for transactions that take place within China must be made in RMB. Unless otherwise approved, PRC companies must repatriate foreign currency payments received from abroad. Foreign-invested enterprises may retain foreign exchange in accounts with designated foreign exchange banks subject to a cap set by SAFE or its local office. Unless otherwise approved, domestic enterprises must convert all of their foreign currency proceeds into RMB.
On October 21, 2005, SAFE issued the Notice on Issues Relating to the Administration of Foreign Exchange in Fund-raising and Reverse Investment Activities of Domestic Residents Conducted via Offshore Special Purpose Companies, which became effective as of November 1, 2005. According to the notice, a special purpose company, or SPV, refers to an offshore company established or indirectly controlled by PRC residents for the special purpose of carrying out financing of their assets or equity interest in PRC domestic enterprises. Prior to establishing or assuming control of an SPV, each PRC resident, whether a natural or legal person, must complete the overseas investment foreign exchange registration procedures with the relevant local SAFE branch. The notice applies retroactively. As a result, PRC residents who have established or acquired control of these SPVs that previously made onshore investments in China were required to complete the relevant overseas investment foreign exchange registration procedures by March 31, 2006. These PRC residents must also amend the registration with the relevant SAFE branch in the following circumstances: (i) the PRC residents have completed the injection of equity investment or assets of a domestic company into the SPV; (ii) the overseas funding of the SPV has been completed; (iii) there is a material change in the capital of the SPV. Under the rules, failure to comply with the foreign exchange registration procedures may result in restrictions being imposed on the foreign exchange activities of the violator, including restrictions on the payment of dividends and other distributions to its offshore parent company, and may also subject the violators to penalties under the PRC foreign exchange administration regulations.
On August 29, 2008, SAFE promulgated Notice 142 which regulates the conversion by a foreign-funded enterprise of foreign currency into RMB by restricting how the converted RMB may be used. Notice 142 requires that RMB funds converted from the foreign currency capital of a foreign-funded enterprise may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable governmental authority and may not be used for equity investments within the PRC unless specifically provided for otherwise. In addition, SAFE strengthened its supervision over the flow and use of RMB funds converted from the foreign currency capital of a foreign-funded enterprise. The use of such RMB capital may not be changed without SAFE’s approval, and may not, in any case, be used to repay or prepay RMB loans if such loans are outstanding. Violations of Notice 142 will result in severe penalties, such as heavy fines as set out in the relevant foreign exchange control regulations.
British Virgin Islands Taxation
Under the law of the British Virgin Islands as currently in effect, a holder of our shares who is not a resident of the British Virgin Islands is not liable for British Virgin Islands income tax on dividends paid with respect to our shares, and all holders of our securities are not liable to the British Virgin Islands for income tax on gains realized on the sale or disposal of such securities. The British Virgin Islands does not impose a withholding tax on dividends paid by a company incorporated or re-registered under the BVI Act.
There are no capital gains, gift or inheritance taxes levied by the British Virgin Islands on companies incorporated or re-registered under the BVI Act. In addition, securities of companies incorporated or re-registered under the BVI Act are not subject to transfer taxes, stamp duties or similar charges.
There is no income tax treaty or convention currently in effect between the United States and the British Virgin Islands, although a Tax Information Exchange Agreement is in force.
Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, and its implementation rules that became effective on January 1, 2008, a non-resident enterprise is generally subject to PRC enterprise income tax with respect to PRC-sourced income. A circular issued by the State Administration of Taxation on April 22, 2009 provides that a foreign enterprise controlled by a PRC company or a PRC company group will be classified as a “resident enterprise” with its “de facto management body” located within China if the following requirements are satisfied: (i) the senior management and core management departments in charge of its daily operations function are mainly in the PRC; (ii) its financial and human resources decisions are subject to determination or approval by persons or bodies in the PRC; (iii) its major assets, accounting books, company seals, and minutes and files of its board and shareholders’ meetings are located or kept in the PRC; and (iv) at least half of the enterprise’s directors with voting right or senior management reside in the PRC. In addition, the State Administration of Taxation issued a bulletin on August 3, 2011, effective as of September 1, 2011, to provide more guidance on the implementation of the above circular. The bulletin clarified certain matters relating to resident status determination, post-determination administration and competent tax authorities. It also specifies that when provided with a copy of a PRC tax resident determination certificate from a resident PRC-controlled offshore incorporated enterprise, the payer should not withhold 10% income tax when paying the PRC-sourced dividends, interest and royalties to the PRC-controlled offshore incorporated enterprise. Although both the circular and the bulletin only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises and not those by PRC individuals, the determination criteria set forth in the circular and administration clarification made in the bulletin may reflect the State Administration of Taxation’s general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax residency status of offshore enterprises and the administration measures should be implemented, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC individuals. If we are deemed to be a PRC resident enterprise, dividends distributed to our non-PRC enterprise shareholders by us, or the gain our non-PRC enterprise shareholders may realize from the transfer of our ordinary shares, may be treated as PRC-sourced income and therefore be subject to a 10% PRC withholding tax pursuant to the EIT Law.
U.S. Federal Income Taxation
The following are the material U.S. federal income tax consequences to an investor of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our securities.
The discussion below of the U.S. federal income tax consequences to “U.S. Holders” will apply to a beneficial owner of our securities that is treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as:
|●||an individual citizen or resident of the United States;|
|●||a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation) that is created or organized (or treated as created or organized) in or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia;|
|●||an estate whose income is includible in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes regardless of its source; or|
|●||a trust if (i) a U.S. court can exercise primary supervision over the trust’s administration and one or more U.S. persons are authorized to control all substantial decisions of the trust, or (ii) it has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations to be treated as a U.S. person.|
If a beneficial owner of our securities is not described as a U.S. Holder and is not an entity treated as a partnership or other pass-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such an owner will be considered a “Non-U.S. Holder.” The material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our securities applicable specifically to Non-U.S. Holders are described below under the heading “Non-U.S. Holders.”
This discussion is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), its legislative history, Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder, published rulings and court decisions, all as currently in effect. These authorities are subject to change or differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.
This discussion does not address all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be relevant to any particular holder of our securities based on such holder’s individual circumstances. In particular, this discussion considers only holders that own and hold our securities as capital assets within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code, and does not address the alternative minimum tax. In addition, this discussion does not address the U.S. federal income tax consequences to holders that are subject to special rules, including:
|●||financial institutions or financial services entities;|
|●||persons that are subject to the mark-to-market accounting rules under Section 475 of the Code;|
|●||governments or agencies or instrumentalities thereof;|
|●||regulated investment companies;|
|●||real estate investment trusts;|
|●||certain expatriates or former long-term residents of the United States;|
|●||persons that actually or constructively own 5% or more of our public shares;|
|●||persons that acquired our securities pursuant to the exercise of employee options, in connection with employee incentive plans or otherwise as compensation;|
|●||persons that hold our securities as part of a straddle, constructive sale, hedging, conversion or other integrated transaction;|
|●||persons whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;|
|●||controlled foreign corporations; or passive foreign investment companies.|
This discussion does not address any aspect of U.S. federal non-income tax laws, such as gift or estate tax laws, state, local or non-U.S. tax laws or, except as discussed herein, any tax reporting obligations applicable to a holder of our securities. Additionally, this discussion does not consider the tax treatment of partnerships or other pass-through entities or persons who hold our securities through such entities. If a partnership (or other entity classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is the beneficial owner of our securities, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. This discussion also assumes that any distributions made (or deemed made) by us on our securities and any consideration received (or deemed received) by a holder in consideration for the sale or other disposition of our securities will be in U.S. dollars.
We have not sought, and will not seek a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) or an opinion of counsel as to any U.S. federal income tax consequence described herein. The IRS may disagree with the description herein, and its determination may be upheld by a court. Moreover, there can be no assurance that future legislation, regulations, administrative rulings or court decisions will not adversely affect the accuracy of the statements in this discussion.
THIS DISCUSSION OF THE MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE ACQUISITION, OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSITION OF OUR SECURITIES IS NOT TAX ADVICE. EACH HOLDER OF OUR SECURITIES IS URGED TO CONSULT ITS OWN TAX ADVISOR WITH RESPECT TO THE PARTICULAR TAX CONSEQUENCES TO SUCH HOLDER OF THE ACQUISITION, OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSITION OF OUR SECURITIES, INCLUDING THE APPLICABILITY AND EFFECT OF ANY STATE, LOCAL, AND NON-U.S. TAX LAWS, AS WELL AS U.S. FEDERAL TAX LAWS AND ANY APPLICABLE TAX TREATIES.
Taxation of Cash Distributions
Subject to the passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) rules discussed below, a U.S. Holder generally will be required to include in gross income as ordinary income the amount of any cash dividend paid on our shares. A cash distribution on such shares generally will be treated as a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent paid out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles). Such dividend generally will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction generally allowed to domestic corporations in respect of dividends received from other domestic corporations. The portion of such distribution, if any, in excess of such earnings and profits generally will constitute a return of capital that will be applied against and reduce (but not below zero) the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in such shares. Any remaining excess will be treated as gain from the sale or other taxable disposition of such shares and will be treated as described under “— Taxation on the Disposition of Securities” below.
With respect to non-corporate U.S. Holders, dividends on our shares may be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the lower applicable long-term capital gains tax rate (see “— Taxation on the Disposition of Securities” below) provided that (1) such shares are readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States, (2) we are not a PFIC, as discussed below, for either the taxable year in which the dividend was paid or the preceding taxable year, and (3) certain holding period requirements are met. Under published IRS authority, our shares are considered for purposes of clause (1) above to be readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States only if they are listed on certain exchanges, which presently include the NASDAQ Capital Market. Although our ordinary shares and warrants are currently listed and traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market, we cannot guarantee that our securities will continue to be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market. U.S. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the availability of the lower rate for any cash dividends paid with respect to our securities.
Possible Constructive Distributions with Respect to Redeemable Warrants
The terms of each redeemable warrant provide for an adjustment to the number of ordinary shares for which the redeemable warrant may be exercised in certain events. An adjustment that has the effect of preventing dilution generally is not taxable. However, the U.S. Holders of the redeemable warrants would be treated as receiving a constructive distribution from us if, for example, the adjustment increases the redeemable warrant holders’ proportionate interest in our assets or earnings and profits (e.g., through an increase in the number of ordinary shares that would be obtained upon exercise) as a result of a distribution of cash to the holders of our shares, which is taxable to the U.S. Holders of such shares as described under “Taxation of Cash Distributions” above. Such constructive distribution would be subject to tax as described under that section in the same manner as if the U.S. Holders of the redeemable warrants received a cash distribution from us equal to the fair market value of such increased interest.
Taxation on the Disposition of Securities
Upon a sale or other taxable disposition of our securities (which, in general, would include a distribution in connection with our liquidation or a redemption of redeemable warrants), and subject to the PFIC rules discussed below, a U.S. Holder generally will recognize capital gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the amount realized and the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the securities. See “— Exercise or Lapse of Redeemable Warrants” below for a discussion regarding a U.S. Holder’s basis in the ordinary share acquired pursuant to the exercise of a warrant.
The regular U.S. federal income tax rate on capital gains recognized by U.S. Holders generally is the same as the regular U.S. federal income tax rate on ordinary income, except that long-term capital gains recognized by non-corporate U.S. Holders generally are subject to U.S. federal income tax at reduced rates of tax. Capital gain or loss will constitute long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holder’s holding period for the securities exceeds one year. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to various limitations.
U.S. Holders that are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds generally will be subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on unearned income, including, without limitation, dividends on, and gains from the sale or other taxable disposition of, our securities, subject to certain limitations and exceptions. Under recently issued regulations, in the absence of a special election, such unearned income generally would not include income inclusions under the qualified electing fund, or QEF rules discussed below under “— Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules,” but would include distributions of earnings and profits from a QEF. U.S. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect, if any, of such tax on their ownership and disposition of our securities.
Exercise or Lapse of Redeemable Warrants
Subject to the PFIC rules discussed below, a U.S. Holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon the acquisition of ordinary shares on the exercise of redeemable warrants for cash. Ordinary shares acquired pursuant to the exercise of redeemable warrants for cash will have a tax basis equal to the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in the redeemable warrants, increased by the amount paid to exercise the redeemable warrants. The holding period of such ordinary shares should begin on the day after the date of exercise of the redeemable warrants. If redeemable warrants are allowed to lapse unexercised, a U.S. Holder generally will recognize a capital loss equal to such holder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemable warrants.
The tax consequences of a cashless exercise of redeemable warrants are not clear under current tax law. A cashless exercise may be tax-free, either because it is not a realization event (i.e., not a transaction in which gain or loss is realized) or because the transaction is treated as a recapitalization for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In either tax-free situation, a U.S. Holder’s tax basis in the ordinary shares received would equal the U.S. Holder’s basis in the redeemable warrants. If the cashless exercise were treated as not being a realization event, the U.S. Holder’s holding period in the ordinary shares could be treated as commencing on the date following the date of exercise of the redeemable warrants. If the cashless exercise were treated as a recapitalization, the holding period of the ordinary shares received would include the holding period of the redeemable warrants.
It is also possible that a cashless exercise could be treated as a taxable exchange in which gain or loss is recognized. In such event, a U.S. Holder could be deemed to have surrendered a number of redeemable warrants with a fair market value equal to the exercise price for the number of redeemable warrants deemed exercised. For this purpose, the number of redeemable warrants deemed exercised would be equal to the number of ordinary shares issued pursuant to the cashless exercise of the redeemable warrants. In this situation, the U.S. Holder would recognize capital gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value of the redeemable warrants deemed surrendered to pay the exercise price and the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in such redeemable warrants deemed surrendered. Such gain or loss would be long-term or short-term depending on the U.S. Holder’s holding period in the redeemable warrants. In this case, a U.S. Holder’s tax basis in the ordinary shares received would equal the sum of the fair market value of the redeemable warrants deemed surrendered to pay the exercise price and the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in the redeemable warrants deemed exercised, and a U.S. Holder’s holding period for the ordinary shares should commence on the date following the date of exercise of the redeemable warrants. There also may be alternative characterizations of any such taxable exchange that would result in similar tax consequences, except that a U.S. Holder’s gain or loss would be short-term.
Due to the absence of authority on the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a cashless exercise of redeemable warrants it is unclear which, if any, of the alternative tax consequences and holding periods described above would be adopted by the IRS or a court of law. Accordingly, U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of a cashless exercise of redeemable warrants.
Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules
A foreign (i.e., non-U.S.) corporation will be a PFIC if at least 75% of its gross income in a taxable year of the foreign corporation, including its pro rata share of the gross income of any corporation in which it is considered to own at least 25% of the shares by value, is passive income. Alternatively, a foreign corporation will be a PFIC if at least 50% of its assets in a taxable year of the foreign corporation, ordinarily determined based on fair market value and averaged quarterly over the year, including its pro rata share of the assets of any corporation in which it is considered to own at least 25% of the shares by value, are held for the production of, or produce, passive income. Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, rents and royalties (other than certain rents or royalties derived from the active conduct of a trade or business) and gains from the disposition of passive assets.
Based on the composition of our assets and the nature of the Company’s income and subsidiaries’ income for our taxable year ended June 30, 2015, we do not expect to be treated as a PFIC for such year and we do not expect to be one for our taxable year ending June 30, 2016 or become one in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the application of the PFIC rules is subject to ambiguity in several respects and, in addition, we must make a separate determination each year as to whether we are a PFIC (after the close of each taxable year). Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will not be a PFIC for the current or any other taxable year. Moreover, although we do not believe we would be treated as a PFIC, we have not engaged any U.S. tax advisers to determine our PFIC status. In addition, if a U.S. Holder owned our ordinary shares at any time prior to our acquisition of Elite, such U.S. Holder may be considered to own stock of a PFIC by virtue of the fact that we may have been a PFIC during the period prior to our acquisition of Elite, unless such U.S. Holder made either a valid and timely QEF election or a valid and timely mark-to-market election, in each case as described below.
If we are determined to be a PFIC for any taxable year (or portion thereof) that is included in the holding period of a U.S. Holder of our shares or redeemable warrants and, in the case of our shares, the U.S. Holder did not make either a timely qualified electing fund (“QEF”) election for our first taxable year as a PFIC in which the U.S. Holder held (or was deemed to hold) such shares, a QEF election along with a purging election, or a mark-to-market election, each as described below, such holder generally will be subject to special rules for regular U.S. federal income tax purposes with respect to:
|●||any gain recognized by the U.S. Holder on the sale or other disposition of its shares or redeemable warrants; and|
|●||any “excess distribution” made to the U.S. Holder (generally, any distributions to such U.S. Holder during a taxable year of the U.S. Holder that are greater than 125% of the average annual distributions received by such U.S. Holder in respect of the shares or warrants during the three preceding taxable years of such U.S. Holder or, if shorter, such U.S. Holder’s holding period for the shares or warrants).|
Under these rules,
|●||the U.S. Holder’s gain or excess distribution will be allocated ratably over the U.S. Holder’s holding period for the shares or redeemable warrants;|
|●||the amount allocated to the U.S. Holder’s taxable year in which the U.S. Holder recognized the gain or received the excess distribution, or to the period in the U.S. Holder’s holding period before the first day of our first taxable year in which we are a PFIC, will be taxed as ordinary income;|
|●||the amount allocated to other taxable years (or portions thereof) of the U.S. Holder and included in its holding period will be taxed at the highest tax rate in effect for that year and applicable to the U.S. Holder; and|
|●||the interest charge generally applicable to underpayments of tax will be imposed in respect of the tax attributable to each such other taxable year of the U.S. Holder.|
In general, if we are determined to be a PFIC, a U.S. Holder may avoid the PFIC tax consequences described above in respect to our shares by making a timely QEF election (or a QEF election along with a purging election, as described below). Pursuant to the QEF election, a U.S. Holder will be required to include in income its pro rata share of our net capital gains (as long-term capital gain) and other earnings and profits (as ordinary income), on a current basis, in each case whether or not distributed, in the taxable year of the U.S. Holder in which or with which our taxable year ends. A U.S. Holder may make a separate election to defer the payment of taxes on undistributed income inclusions under the QEF rules, but if deferred, any such taxes will be subject to an interest charge.
A U.S. Holder may not make a QEF election with respect to its redeemable warrants. As a result, if a U.S. Holder sells or otherwise disposes of a redeemable warrant (other than upon exercise of the redeemable warrant), any gain recognized generally will be subject to the special tax and interest charge rules treating the gain as an excess distribution, as described above, if we were a PFIC at any time during the period the U.S. Holder held the redeemable warrants. If a U.S. Holder that exercises such redeemable warrants properly makes a QEF election with respect to the newly acquired ordinary shares (or has previously made a QEF election with respect to our shares), the QEF election will apply to the newly acquired ordinary shares, but the adverse tax consequences relating to PFIC shares, adjusted to take into account the current income inclusions resulting from the QEF election, will continue to apply with respect to such newly acquired ordinary shares (which generally will be deemed to have a holding period for purposes of the PFIC rules that includes the period the U.S. Holder held the redeemable warrants), unless the U.S. Holder makes a purging election with respect to such shares. The purging election creates a deemed sale of such shares at their fair market value. The gain recognized by the purging election will be subject to the special tax and interest charge rules treating the gain as an excess distribution, as described above. As a result of the purging election, the U.S. Holder will increase the adjusted tax basis in its ordinary shares acquired upon the exercise of the redeemable warrants by the gain recognized and will also have a new holding period in such ordinary shares for purposes of the PFIC rules.
The QEF election is made on a shareholder-by-shareholder basis and, once made, can be revoked only with the consent of the IRS. A U.S. Holder generally makes a QEF election by attaching a completed IRS Form 8621 (Information Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund), including the information provided in a PFIC annual information statement, to a timely filed U.S. federal income tax return for the taxable year to which the election relates. Retroactive QEF elections generally may be made only by filing a protective statement with such return and if certain other conditions are met or with the consent of the IRS.
In order to comply with the requirements of a QEF election, a U.S. Holder must receive certain information from us. Upon request from a U.S. Holder, we will endeavor to provide to the U.S. Holder no later than 90 days after the request such information as the IRS may require, including a PFIC annual information statement, in order to enable the U.S. Holder to make and maintain a QEF election. However, there is no assurance that we will have timely knowledge of our status as a PFIC in the future or of the required information to be provided.
If a U.S. Holder has made a QEF election with respect to our shares and the special tax and interest charge rules do not apply to such shares (because of a timely QEF election for our first taxable year as a PFIC in which the U.S. Holder holds (or is deemed to hold) such shares or a QEF election, along with a purge of the PFIC taint pursuant to a purging election, as described above), any gain recognized on the sale or other taxable disposition of our shares generally will be taxable as capital gain and no interest charge will be imposed. As discussed above, for regular U.S. federal income tax purposes, U.S. Holders of a QEF are currently taxed on their pro rata shares of the QEF’s earnings and profits, whether or not distributed. In such case, a subsequent distribution of such earnings and profits that were previously included in income generally should not be taxable as a dividend to such U.S. Holders. The adjusted tax basis of a U.S. Holder’s shares in a QEF will be increased by amounts that are included in income, and decreased by amounts distributed but not taxed as dividends, under the above rules. Similar basis adjustments apply to property if by reason of holding such property the U.S. Holder is treated under the applicable attribution rules as owning shares in a QEF.
Although a determination as to our PFIC status will be made annually, the initial determination that we are a PFIC generally will apply for subsequent years to a U.S. Holder who held shares or redeemable warrants while we were a PFIC, whether or not we meet the test for PFIC status in those subsequent years, unless such U.S. Holder made a purging election as described below. A U.S. Holder who makes the QEF election discussed above for our first taxable year as a PFIC in which the U.S. Holder holds (or is deemed to hold) our shares, however, will not be subject to the PFIC tax and interest charge rules discussed above in respect to such shares. In addition, such U.S. Holder will not be subject to the QEF inclusion regime with respect to such shares for any of our taxable years that end within or with a taxable year of the U.S. Holder and in which we are not a PFIC. On the other hand, if the QEF election is not effective for each of our taxable years in which we are a PFIC and during which the U.S. Holder holds (or is deemed to hold) our shares, the PFIC rules discussed above will continue to apply to such shares unless the holder files on a timely filed U.S. income tax return (including extensions) a QEF election and a purging election to recognize under the rules of Section 1291 of the Code any gain that the U.S. Holder would otherwise recognize if the U.S. Holder had sold our shares for their fair market value on the “qualification date.” The qualification date is the first day of our tax year in which we qualify as a QEF with respect to such U.S. Holder. The purging election can only be made if such U.S. Holder held our ordinary shares on the qualification date. The gain recognized by the purging election will be subject to the special tax and interest charge rules treating the gain as an excess distribution, as described above. As a result of the purging election, the U.S. Holder will increase the adjusted tax basis in its ordinary shares by the amount of the gain recognized and will also have a new holding period in the shares for purposes of the PFIC rules.
If a U.S. Holder did not make a timely “mark-to-market” election (as described above), and if we were a PFIC at any time during the period such U.S. Holder held our ordinary shares, then such ordinary shares will continue to be treated as stock of a PFIC with respect to such U.S. Holder even if we cease to be a PFIC in a future year, unless such U.S. Holder makes a “purging election” for the year we cease to be a PFIC. A “purging election” creates a deemed sale of such ordinary shares at their fair market value on the last day of the last year in which we are treated as a PFIC. The gain recognized by the purging election will be subject to the special tax and interest charge rules treating the gain as an excess distribution, as described above. As a result of the purging election, such U.S. Holder will have a new tax basis (equal to the fair market value of the ordinary shares on the last day of the last year in which we are treated as a PFIC) and tax holding period (which new holding period will begin the day after such last day) in such ordinary shares.
As an alternative to the QEF election, if a U.S. Holder, at the close of its taxable year, owns shares in a PFIC that are treated as marketable stock, the U.S. Holder may make a mark-to-market election with respect to such shares for such taxable year. If the U.S. Holder makes a valid mark-to-market election for the first taxable year of the U.S. Holder in which the U.S. Holder holds (or is deemed to hold) our shares and for which we are determined to be a PFIC, such holder generally will not be subject to the PFIC rules described above in respect to its shares. Instead, in general, the U.S. Holder will include as ordinary income each year the excess, if any, of the fair market value of its shares at the end of its taxable year over the adjusted tax basis in its shares. The U.S. Holder also will be allowed to take an ordinary loss in respect of the excess, if any, of the adjusted tax basis of its shares over the fair market value of its shares at the end of its taxable year (but only to the extent of the net amount of previously included income as a result of the mark-to-market election). The U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in its shares will be adjusted to reflect any such income or loss amounts, and any further gain recognized on a sale or other taxable disposition of the shares will be treated as ordinary income. Currently, a mark-to-market election may not be made with respect to our redeemable warrants.
The mark-to-market election is available only for stock that is regularly traded on a national securities exchange that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the NASDAQ Capital Market, or on a foreign exchange or market that the IRS determines has rules sufficient to ensure that the market price represents a legitimate and sound fair market value. Although our ordinary shares are listed and traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market, we cannot guarantee that our shares will continue to be listed and traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market. U.S. Holders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the availability and tax consequences of a mark-to-market election in respect to our shares under their particular circumstances.
If we are a PFIC and, at any time, have a foreign subsidiary that is classified as a PFIC, a U.S. Holder generally would be deemed to own a portion of the shares of such lower-tier PFIC, and generally could incur liability for the deferred tax and interest charge described above if we receive a distribution from, or dispose of all or part of our interest in, or the U.S. Holder otherwise were deemed to have disposed of an interest in, the lower-tier PFIC. Upon request, we will endeavor to cause any lower-tier PFIC to provide to a U.S. Holder no later than 90 days after the request the information that may be required to make or maintain a QEF election with respect to the lower-tier PFIC. However, there is no assurance that we will have timely knowledge of the status of any such lower-tier PFIC, and we do not plan to make annual determinations or otherwise notify U.S. Holders of the PFIC status of any such lower-tier PFIC. There also is no assurance that we will be able to cause the lower-tier PFIC to provide the required information. U.S. Holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the tax issues raised by lower-tier PFICs.
A U.S. Holder that owns (or is deemed to own) shares in a PFIC during any taxable year of the U.S. Holder may have to file an IRS Form 8621 (whether or not a QEF election or mark-to-market election is or has been made) with such U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax return and provide such other information as may be required by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The rules dealing with PFICs and with the QEF and mark-to-market elections are very complex and are affected by various factors in addition to those described above. Accordingly, U.S. Holders of our shares and redeemable warrants should consult their own tax advisors concerning the application of the PFIC rules to our shares and redeemable warrants under their particular circumstances.
Dividends (including constructive dividends) paid or deemed paid to a Non-U.S. Holder in respect to our securities generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax, unless the dividends are effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, are attributable to a permanent establishment or fixed base that such holder maintains or maintained in the United States).
In addition, a Non-U.S. Holder generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on any gain attributable to a sale or other taxable disposition of our securities unless such gain is effectively connected with its conduct of a trade or business in the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, is attributable to a permanent establishment or fixed base that such holder maintains or maintained in the United States) or the Non-U.S. Holder is an individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of sale or other disposition and certain other conditions are met (in which case, such gain from U.S. sources generally is subject to U.S. federal income tax at a 30% rate or a lower applicable tax treaty rate).
Dividends and gains that are effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business in the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, are attributable to a permanent establishment or fixed base that such holder maintains or maintained in the United States) generally will be subject to regular U.S. federal income tax at the same regular U.S. federal income tax rates applicable to a comparable U.S. Holder and, in the case of a Non-U.S. Holder that is a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, may also be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a 30% rate or a lower applicable tax treaty rate.
The U.S. federal income tax treatment of a Non-U.S. Holder’s exercise of redeemable warrants, or the lapse of redeemable warrants held by a Non-U.S. Holder, generally will correspond to the U.S. federal income tax treatment of the exercise or lapse of redeemable warrants by a U.S. Holder, as described under “U.S. Holders — Exercise or Lapse of Redeemable Warrants” above.
Backup Withholding and Information Reporting
In general, information reporting for U.S. federal income tax purposes should apply to distributions made on our securities within the United States to a U.S. Holder (other than an exempt recipient) and to the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of our securities by a U.S. Holder (other than an exempt recipient) to or through a U.S. office of a broker. Payments made (and sales and other dispositions effected at an office) outside the United States will be subject to information reporting in limited circumstances. In addition, certain information concerning a U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in its securities and adjustments to that tax basis and whether any gain or loss with respect to such securities is long-term or short-term also may be required to be reported to the IRS, and certain holders may be required to file an IRS Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) to report their interest in our securities.
Moreover, backup withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 28% generally will apply to dividends paid on our securities to a U.S. Holder (other than an exempt recipient) and the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of shares or warrants by a U.S. Holder (other than an exempt recipient), in each case who
|●||fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number;|
|●||is notified by the IRS that backup withholding is required; or|
|●||in certain circumstances, fails to comply with applicable certification requirements.|
A Non-U.S. Holder generally may eliminate the requirement for information reporting and backup withholding by providing certification of its foreign status, under penalties of perjury, on a duly executed applicable IRS Form W-8 or by otherwise establishing an exemption. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Rather, the amount of any backup withholding will be allowed as a credit against a U.S. Holder’s or a Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability and may entitle such holder to a refund, provided that certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. Holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the application of backup withholding and the availability of and procedures for obtaining an exemption from backup withholding in their particular circumstances.
F. Dividends and Paying Agents
G. Statement by Experts
H. Documents on Display
We have filed this report on Form 20-F with the SEC under the Exchange Act. Statements made in this report as to the contents of any document referred to are not necessarily complete. With respect to each such document filed as an exhibit to this report, reference is made to the exhibit for a more complete description of the matter involved, and each such statement shall be deemed qualified in its entirety by such reference.
We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act as a foreign private issuer and file reports and other information with the SEC. Reports and other information filed by us with the SEC, including this report, may be inspected and copied at the public reference room of the SEC at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549. You can also obtain copies of this report by mail from the Public Reference Section of the SEC, 100 F. Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549, at prescribed rates. Additionally, copies of this material may be obtained from the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. The SEC’s telephone number is 1-800-SEC-0330.
As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from the rules under the Exchange Act prescribing the furnishing and content of quarterly reports and proxy statements, and officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and short-swing profit recovery provisions contained in Section 16 of the Exchange Act.
I. Subsidiary Information
ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Interest Rate Risk
We deposit any surplus funds with Chinese banks earning daily interest. We do not invest in any instruments for trading purposes. Our operations generally are not directly sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates and we currently do not have any long-term debt outstanding. Management monitors the banks’ prime rates in conjunction with our cash requirements to determine the appropriate level of debt balances relative to other sources of funds. We have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to interest rate risk.
Foreign Exchange Risk
While our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar, substantially all of our consolidated revenues and consolidated costs and expenses are denominated in RMB. Substantially all of our assets are denominated in RMB. As a result, we are exposed to foreign exchange risk as our revenues and results of operations may be affected by fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the RMB. If the RMB depreciates against the U.S. dollar, the value of our RMB revenues, earnings and assets as expressed in our U.S. dollar financial statements will decline. Assets and liabilities are translated at exchange rates at the balance sheet dates and revenue and expenses are translated at the average exchange rates and equity is translated at historical exchange rates. Any resulting translation adjustments are not included in determining net income but are included in determining other comprehensive income, a component of equity. An average appreciation (depreciation) of the RMB against the U.S. dollar of 5% would increase (decrease) our comprehensive loss by $30,000 based on our outstanding revenues, costs and expenses, assets and liabilities denominated in RMB as of December 31, 2021.
The value of RMB against the U.S. dollar and other currencies is affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions. Since July 2005, RMB has not been pegged to the U.S. dollar. Although the People’s Bank of China regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to prevent significant short-term fluctuations in the exchange rate, RMB may appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollar in the medium to long term. Moreover, it is possible that in the future, PRC authorities may lift restrictions on fluctuations in RMB exchange rate and lessen intervention in the foreign exchange market.
Inflationary factors such as increases in the cost of our product and overhead costs may adversely affect our operating results. Although we do not believe that inflation has had a material impact on our financial position or results of operations to date, a high rate of inflation in the future may have an adverse effect on our ability to maintain current levels of gross margin and selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenues if the selling prices of our products do not increase with these increased costs.
ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES
With the exception of Items 12.D.3 and 12.D.4, this Item 12 is not applicable for annual reports on Form 20-F. As to Items 12.D.3 and 12.D.4, this Item 12 is not applicable, as the Company does not have any American Depositary Shares.
ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES
ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS
ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
As of December 31, 2021 our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act), as of the end of the year covered by this report. Disclosure controls and procedure include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the Company’s management as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Our Management is responsible for monitoring the process pursuant to which information is gathered and analyzing such information to determine the extent to which such information requires disclosure, in the reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Based on such evaluation, our CEO and CFO have concluded that as of December 31, 2021, the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures were ineffective due to the Company’s lacks of formal documented controls and procedures applicable to all officers and directors to disclose the required information under the Exchange Act.
We have appointed outside independent directors, established board committees, strengthened the financial personnel and introduced written policies and procedures.
Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Internal control over financial reporting is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) or 15d-15(f) promulgated under the Exchange Act. It is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, the company’s principal executive and principal financial officers and effected by the company’s board of directors, management and other personnel. The objective is to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and includes those policies and procedures that:
|●||Pertain to the maintenance of records that in reasonable detail accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company;|
|●||Provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and|
|●||Provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.|
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. All internal control systems, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation. Because of the inherent limitations of internal control, there is a risk that material misstatements may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis by the internal controls over financial reporting. However, these inherent limitations are known features of the financial reporting process. Therefore, it is possible to design into the process safeguards to reduce, though not eliminate, this risk.
As December 31, 2021 management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on the criteria for effective internal control over financial reporting established in by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s 2013 Internal Control Integrated Framework and SEC guidance on conducting such assessments. Based on that evaluation, they concluded that, during the period covered by this report, such internal controls and procedures were not effective to detect the inappropriate application of US GAAP rules. This was primarily due to deficiencies that existed in the design or operation of our internal controls over financial reporting that adversely affected our internal controls. These deficiencies may be considered to be material weaknesses.
Identified Material Weakness
A material weakness in internal control over financial reporting is a control deficiency, or combination of control deficiencies, that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of the financial statements will not be prevented or detected.
Management identified the following material weaknesses during its assessment of internal controls over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021:
|(1)||A lack of understanding of the requirements of NASDAQ, made worse by a poor or no command of the English language|
|(2)||Contracts are often done hurriedly, in Chinese and presented late to the Board for approval. Often the contracting parties vary the written terms. Enforcement is difficult and time-consuming|
|(3)||There are no written policies and procedures covering such operational activities such as sales and procurement due to a lack of staff stability, especially at senior management levels|
|(4)||Chinese accounting rules require standard official invoices to be issued before they can be recognized in the accounting records so cut-offs remain an issue|
As a result of the material weaknesses described above, management has concluded that the Company did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021 based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by COSO (2013 framework). However, management does not believe that any of our annual or interim financial statements issued to date contain a material misstatement as a result of the aforementioned weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting.
Management’s Remediation Initiatives
To mediate the identified material weaknesses and other deficiencies, we have introduced the following measures:
|(1)||Continue to educate senior management on the requirements of NASDAQ|
|(2)||Set a monetary limit above which senior Management cannot contract on behalf of the Company, without the written approval of at least two independent directors.|
|(3)||Design and monitor controls over financial reporting, including the introduction of a proper checklist of cut-off procedures to ensure proper accounting of accruals and payables.|
|(4)||Continue to provide training to financial staff on U.S. GAAP and educate management staff and directors on NASDAQ Listing Rules and SEC Reporting Requirements.|
Attestation report of the registered public accounting firm
Our independent registered public accounting firm, Centurion ZD CPA & Co., has audited the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, as stated in its report, which appears on page F-2 of this annual report on Form 20-F.
Changes in internal controls over financial reporting
Except as described above, there have been no changes in our internal controls over financial reporting that occurred during the period covered by this Report that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.
ITEM 16. Reserved
ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT
Our Audit Committee consists of Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel, Tao Xu and Chuan Zhan. Our board of directors has determined all three are “independent directors” within the meaning of NASDAQ Stock Market Rule 5605(a)(2) and meet the criteria for independence set forth in Rule 10A−3(b) of the Exchange Act. Khuat Leok Choong, Lionel meets the criteria of an audit committee financial expert as set forth under the applicable rules of the SEC.
ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS
Our board of directors has adopted a code of business conduct and ethics. The purpose of the code is to promote ethical conduct and deter wrongdoing. The policies outlined in the Code are designed to ensure that our directors, executive officers and employees act in accordance with not only the letter but also the spirit of the laws and regulations that apply to our business. We expect our directors, executive officers and employees to exercise good judgment, to uphold these standards in their day-to-day activities, and to comply with all applicable policies and procedures in the course of their relationship with the company. During fiscal year 2021, no amendments to or waivers from the Code were made or given for any of our executive officers.
Our code of business conduct and ethics are publicly available on our website at http://www.moxianglobal.com.
ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES
Centurion ZD CPA & Co. was appointed by the Company on July 19, 2021 to serve as its independent registered public accounting firm for the year ended December 31, 2021.
The following table sets forth the aggregate fees by categories specified below in connection with certain professional services rendered by our principal external auditors, for the periods indicated.
|December 31, 2021||December 31, 2020||September 30, 2020||September 30, 2019|
|Audit related fees(2)||-||-||-||-|
|All other fees(4)||-||-||-||-|
|(1)||“Audit fees” means the aggregate fees billed for each of the fiscal years for professional services rendered by our principal accountant for the audit of our annual financial statements or services that are normally provided by the accountant in connection with statutory and regulatory filings or engagements for those fiscal years.|
|(2)||“Audit related fees” means the aggregate fees billed for each of the fiscal years for assurance and related services by our principal accountant that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of our financial statements and are not reported under paragraph (1).|
|(3)||“Tax Fees” represents the aggregate fees billed in each of the fiscal years listed for the professional tax services rendered by our principal auditors.|
|(4)||“All Other Fees” represents the aggregate fees billed in each of the fiscal years listed for services rendered by our principal auditors other than services reported under “Audit fees,” “Audit-related fees” and “Tax fees.”|
The policy of our audit committee and our board of directors is to pre-approve all audit and non-audit services provided by our principal auditors, including audit services, audit-related services, and other services as described above, other than those for de minimis services which are approved by the audit committee or our board of directors prior to the completion of the services.
ITEM 16D. EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES
ITEM 16E. PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS
ITEM 16F. CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT
ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Our ordinary shares are listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market, or NASDAQ. As such, we are subject to corporate governance requirements imposed by NASDAQ. Under NASDAQ rules, listed non-US companies such as ourselves may, in general, follow their home country corporate governance practices in lieu of some of the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements. A NASDAQ -listed non-US company is required to provide a general summary of the significant differences to its US investors either on the company website or in its annual report distributed to its US investors. We are committed to a high standard of corporate governance. As such, we endeavor to comply with the NASDAQ corporate governance practices and there is no significant difference between our corporate governance practices and what the NASDAQ requires of domestic U.S. companies.
ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE
Item 16I. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
See Item 18.
ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Our consolidated financial statements are included at the end of this annual report, beginning with page F-1.
ITEM 19. EXHIBITS
|Exhibit No.||Description of Exhibit||Included||Form||Filing Date|
|1.1||Amended and Restated Memorandum and Articles of Association of Moxian (BVI) Inc||By Reference||6-K||2021-12-06|
|2.1||Agreement and Plan of Merger||By Reference||F-4|