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 Shou Zi Chew Decided to Focus on TikTok

Several months ago, TikTok’s owner ByteDance hired Xiaomi’s senior vice president Shou Zi Chew. He became the company’s new chief financial officer. Now, however, he is in fact, leaving his post to focus on his role as CEO of TikTok.

He became the CEO of a short video app in May. This decision is part of a broader reorganization within the company. ByteDance created six business units.

The first business unit of ByteDance is Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. This unit will also include ByteDance’s Toutiao news aggregation service. The company’s other units include the work collaboration division Lark, education business Dali, and enterprise technology platform BytePlus. In 2020, ByteDance generated the vast majority of its revenue in China.

The TikTok unit will focus on the short video app, while the Nuverse business will focus on the company’s gaming efforts.

According to Liang Rubo, the changes will take place over a gradual transition period. TikTok’s owner wanted to reorganize its business in 2021 including upper management. This spring, Zhang Yiming, co-founder of ByteDance, left his post. He was the company’s CEO and transitioned into a strategy role. Still, Zhang Yiming remains chairman and has more than 50% of voting rights. Liang Rubo will officially take over from Zhang Yiming as CEO in December.

 

TikTok and its problems

In 2020, President Donald Trump’s administration ordered ByteDance to divest its TikTok business in the U.S. Administration’s decision sparked a bidding war between companies including Microsoft and Oracle, a deal never materialized. Still, the mounting pressure from Washington did force Kevin Mayer to leave his post.

In spite of all challenges, ByteDance continued to push forward with new business areas from gaming to fintech. Meanwhile, TikTok reached a historic result. It hit a billion monthly active users in September. Hundreds of millions of people use TikTok on a regular basis.

The short video app had about 55 million global users by January 2018. TikTok’s number of users grew to more than 271 million by December 2018. In one year, TikTok’s number of users reached 507 million. It reported nearly 700 million monthly active users last summer.

Finally, in the second quarter, Facebook had 3.51 billion monthly users across its family of apps. The company had 3.45 billion monthly users in the first quarter.

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