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TikTok has a new CEO: ByteDance CFO Shouzi Chew

The company announced on Friday that it had appointed Shouzi Chew as CEO. He joined the company earlier this year as CFO of ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok. He had previously been a senior executive at Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Shou and Vanessa’s management team is laying the groundwork for sustained growth,” ByteDance CEO Yiming Zhang said in a statement.

“Shou brings in-depth knowledge of the business and industry, having led a team that were among our early investors and having worked in the tech industry for a decade. He will add depth to the team, by focusing on areas such as corporate governance and forward business initiatives. “

Chew is based in his hometown of Singapore, which suggests the company no longer thinks it needs a US-based leader.

Last year he brought in an American executive – Disney (Dis) veteran Kevin Mayer – for the top post, in a move that has been widely seen as an attempt to win over U.S. lawmakers.
But TikTok was then embroiled in a dramatic months-long battle in the United States, after the Trump administration threatened to ban the short video platform unless it sells its US operations to a US entity. . Former US President Donald Trump had sought to crack down on TikTok on the grounds that the app posed a national security risk, a claim TikTok had previously called unfounded.
Mayer resigned just three months after taking up his post, citing the huge change in the “political environment”. The company went on to promote Pappas, who until then had served as general manager of TikTok’s U.S. operations from Los Angeles.

Pappas told CNN Business in a statement earlier this year that she was focusing on the user experience of the app – and simply “reminding people that we have a way forward.”

TikTok is extremely popular in the United States, with around 100 million users nationwide.
TikTok has a new CEO: ByteDance CFO Shouzi Chew

In recent months, the company has remained largely out of the spotlight, with little action since US President Joe Biden took office.

Last February, the Biden administration asked a federal court to stay litigation over Trump’s attempts to ban TikTok from the United States, while conducting a review of the previous administration’s approach to it. social media business.

The main concern among policymakers last year was that ByteDance could be forced to turn TikTok’s data on U.S. users over to the Chinese government, under the country’s national security laws.

TikTok, for its part, said it stores US user data on US-based servers, with a backup in Singapore, and its data is not subject to Chinese law. But skeptics say TikTok’s parent ByteDance is ultimately a Chinese company that is still beholden to Beijing.

TikTok declined to comment on the Biden administration’s request in February, but did not oppose the government’s motion, according to a court file.

– Brian Fung contributed to this report.


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