: ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming steps down as chairman: reports


ByteDance Ltd. founder Zhang Yiming has stepped down as chairman of the Chinese tech giant, according to reports late Tuesday, months after resigning as CEO of the TikTok parent.

CEO Liang Rubo will take Zhang’s place as chairman, Bloomberg News and Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Earlier Tuesday, ByteDance announced a plan to restructure the company into six business segments. As part of that reshuffling, the Wall Street Journal reported ByteDance Chief Financial Officer Shou Zi Chew would step down to focus on his role as CEO of TikTok.

Zhang, 38, is the latest Chinese billionaire to step away from the company they founded, as China’s government tightens its grip on internet companies. Pinduoduo Inc.’s 

 founder and chairman, Colin Huang, stepped down from the company in March,

founder and CEO Richard Liu stepped back from day-to-day handling of the company in September, and Kuaishou Technology co-founder and CEO  Su Hua similarly stepped back last week.

Beijing-based ByteDance was formed in 2012, and its smash hit app, TikTok, has nearly 700 million monthly users. Privately held ByteDance was valued at $140 billion as of its last funding round, but according to Bloomberg News was privately valued around $250 billion earlier this year.

Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index ranks Zhang the 31st wealthiest person in the world, with a fortune worth about $44.5 billion.

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