TikTok Proprietor ByteDance Hires Away Govt From Xiaomi to Be CFO

ByteDance Ltd., owner of the popular TikTok platform for sharing videos, has poached an executive from smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp.

to become his new CFO.

Shou Zi Chew, who served as Xiaomi’s CFO from 2015 to 2020, said on Twitter that he will be leaving the Beijing-based company to take on a new role at ByteDance.

“I will soon be joining ByteDance as CFO and returning to Singapore, my hometown,” Chew said in his post on Wednesday.

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Mr. Chew most recently served as President of Xiaomi’s international business after his time as CFO. During this time the company went public in Hong Kong. Xiaomi confirmed its departure in an earlier filing on Wednesday. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Chew previously worked as a partner at the investment firm DST Investment Management and in the investment banking unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

His appointment comes after months of US-China tension over TikTok fueled by allegations by former President Donald Trump that the social networking platform posed a national security threat to the US

Shou Zi Chew.


Photo:

Anthony Kwan / Bloomberg News

The Trump administration’s efforts to ban TikTok last summer sparked a month-long battle that included retaliation by the Chinese government and a last-minute deal to sell the app’s U.S. operations to a group of companies including Oracle Corp.

The deal was suspended indefinitely after Mr Trump lost his bid for re-election.

The Biden government is currently examining whether the national security threat cited by its predecessor continues to justify the ban. A study by a group of university cybersecurity researchers published on Monday found that the TikTok underlying computer code does not pose a national security threat to the United States

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming opposed the sale of TikTok last year despite large Western supporters calling for it. ByteDance counts General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital as investors and was valued at $ 180 billion in December, according to data research firm PitchBook Data Inc.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Write to Nina Trentmann at Nina.Trentmann@wsj.com

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