TikTok appointed Shou Zi Chew, a Singaporean nationwide, as the brand new Chief Executive Officer of the new video-sharing platform, the corporate stated on Friday. Chew, based mostly in Singapore, will retain shut ties to TikTok’s Chinese proprietor ByteDance the place he’ll stay Chief Financial Officer.
“We will continue building out our strong and deep management team as we set the stage for the next phase of TikTok’s success,” Chew stated in an announcement.
TikTok’s interim head Vanessa Pappas, who led the corporate on an interim foundation after the abrupt departure of its CEO final yr, Kevin Mayer previously of Walt Disney, would be the new chief working officer.
“Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors … He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives,” stated Yiming Zhang, Founder and CEO of ByteDance.
Over the previous few years as its app gained recognition within the United States, TikTok has sought to distance itself from Beijing after an inquiry into the security of the non-public knowledge it handles by a nationwide safety panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment within the United States (CFIUS), Reuters reported in 2019.
“If the goal is to separate TikTok from ByteDance control, appointing the current ByteDance CFO to concurrently serve as the TikTok CEO seems to run counter to that,” stated Steven Klemencic, consulting agency BRG’s CFIUS chief and former intelligence officer who labored in direct assist of CFIUS.
Nova Daly, senior advisor at regulation agency Wiley Rein, who ran the CFIUS course of on the US Treasury Department, stated congress members could object to the appointment. “I think the push back will be political and from the Hill,” he stated.
However, some CFIUS attorneys performed down any main influence this restructuring can have on the CFIUS assessment, noting that TikTok remains to be firmly managed by ByteDance.
Former US president Donald Trump’s administration, which alleged that TikTok posed a nationwide safety risk as China’s authorities may be capable to receive private knowledge of the app’s US customers. TikTok denied the accusations.
A US plan to promote TikTok’s American operations to a US consortium has languished since late final yr, as ByteDance launched profitable authorized challenges.
CFIUS has been reviewing the deal to promote TikTok US to a consortium together with Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc., in keeping with a supply accustomed to the matter. Details of the discussions couldn’t be realized.
TikTok has made strikes to shift energy from Beijing, the place ByteDance relies, to the United States, one among its most necessary and quick rising markets.
Alex Zhu, former TikTok head, a Chinese nationwide, had left the position as the corporate confronted scrutiny over knowledge privateness in 2020. Zhu is co-founder of the Musical.ly app that ByteDance acquired for up to $1 billion and re-branded as TikTok.
TikTok poached Disney’s Mayer as CEO final yr. Mayer resigned shortly after his tenure with the Chinese firm on the peak of the nationwide safety assessment.
Last yr, TikTok ramped up its engineering and moderation crew in Mountain View, California, making an attempt to base these data-sensitive positions exterior of China. The firm had beforehand stated the non-public knowledge of tens of millions of US customers are saved in Virginia, with backups in Singapore.
Chew attended school in London, and has an MBA from Harvard. From 2015 to 2020, he served as Xiaomi’s chief monetary officer, and ran its worldwide enterprise for a yr.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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