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ByteDance CFO steps down to focus on TikTok

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TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. has said CFO Shou Zi Chew will step down to focus on his role as managing director of the popular video-sharing platform, a move that comes as ByteDance reorganizes its operations. activities.

Mr. Chew was appointed to the chief financial position at ByteDance in March after the company hired him from Beijing-based Xiaomi. Corp.

, where he served as CFO from 2015 to 2020. He took on the additional role of CEO of TikTok approximately two months later.

ByteDance co-founder Liang Rubo said in an internal memo that the company’s finance department would report to him. Mr. Liang succeeds founder Zhang Yiming as general manager, as the company announced in May that Mr. Zhang would be stepping down this year.

Mr. Liang announced a restructuring of ByteDance into six business segments: TikTok, its Chinese version Douyin, the Lark workplace collaboration platform, the BytePlus business service unit, the Nuverse gaming unit and the Nuverse gaming unit. Dali Education educational technology unit.

Its Chinese services Toutiao, Xigua, Search, Baike and other vertical offerings will be bundled under the Douyin business unit, while the TikTok business will support the development of extended business lines such as global e-commerce, according to Liang.

“As the business of the company evolves and the team grows, each company faces different opportunities and challenges,” Liang said in the note, adding that the heads of the different lines of business would report to him. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment further.

ByteDance lists Carlyle Group and Sequoia Capital among its investors. It was valued at $ 360 billion at the end of February, according to data provider PitchBook.

Private company ByteDance has faced regulatory hurdles and government pressure in recent months.

In April, ByteDance was among 34 biggest Chinese tech companies that publicly pledged to comply with the country’s antimonopoly laws, shortly after e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Ltd.

was hit with $ 2.8 billion in antitrust fines. ByteDance was also among 13 companies urged by China’s central bank and other regulators to comply with stricter regulation of their data and lending practices.

Earlier this year, the company indefinitely suspended its overseas listing intentions after Chinese government officials asked the company to focus on managing data security risks, Wall Street reported. Journal in July.

ByteDance’s challenges come after the U.S. government investigated whether the TikTok app poses a national security risk when the Chinese government may gain access to the personal data of millions of U.S. users.

The Trump administration issued an executive order last year that would have banned the app unless it finds a U.S. buyer. Oracle Corp.

and Walmart Inc.

were part of a group engaged in talks to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations, which ByteDance opposed with legal challenges. Federal Court rulings have prevented former President Donald Trump’s orders from taking effect.

The Biden administration in February suspended plans to demand the sale as part of a broader review of potential security risks for Chinese tech companies.

A Wall Street Journal survey found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to understand what you want: the time you spend on a piece of content. Every second that you hesitate or revisit, the application follows you. Photographic illustration: Laura Kammermann / The Wall Street Journal

Write to Nina Trentmann at [email protected]

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