The president and co-founder of Chinese internet giant ByteDance, owner of the TikTok application, has just announced his resignation. The arguments are surprising: the manager does not feel really made for this job. Above all, the Beijing authorities are now more vigilant about social networks. It weighs $ 36 billion. Zhang Yiming, the big boss of ByteDance, resigns from his post of director to devote himself from now on to “the long term strategy” of the group.
“In reality, I do not have the required qualities of the ideal leader (…) I am not very sociable, I prefer solitary activities such as going on the internet, reading, listening to music and daydreaming about what is possible” Zhang Yiming wrote in an email to his employees.
Born in 1983, the man hands over to Liang Rubo, the other co-founder of Bytedance, until now HR Director of the group.
Beijing puts pressure on Chinese digital giants
Even though Zhang Yiming’s procrastination is proven, this decision is part of a strong movement to take control by the Beijing authorities of the country’s major technology companies.
Last April, e-commerce giant Alibaba was fined a record 2.2 billion euros for abuse of a dominant position. Its charismatic founder, Jack Ma, disappeared from the public eye after criticizing national financial regulators last October. And twelve companies in the digital sector, including ByteDance, were sanctioned in March for non-compliance with competition rules.
Zhang Yiming co-founded ByteDance in 2012 in Beijing. The company is best known for launching the TikTok app. A popular app for teenagers around the world. The Trump administration, which suspected this application of being a Chinese spy tool, denounced the presence of this application on the American market. In India, TikTok was banned last June in the name of national security.