ByteDance’s Vice President of its virtual reality division, PICO, Ren Lifeng, has officially resigned to embark on a new entrepreneurial journey in the cross-border e-commerce sector, as reported by Chinese media outlet Tech Planet.
The startup led by Ren Lifeng has reportedly secured investments from prominent venture capital firms including Sequoia China and IDG, pushing its post-investment valuation over $50 million. The startup is currently in its recruitment phase, with many of its initial team members stemming from TikTok, including some of the platform’s veteran figures.
Ren Lifeng, a founding member of TikTok with a background in operations and a former employee of Baidu Forum, has been a key figure in TikTok’s rise to global prominence. In 2020, he assumed the presidency of Xigua Video. Following this, in February 2022, he took on the roles of legal representative, executive director, and manager at Beijing Microvision World Co., Ltd. Later in 2022, he transitioned to PICO as Vice President, overseeing content ecology-related business operations.
Towards the end of 2023, media reports began to emerge that Ren Lifeng was on the verge of resigning. In the latter half of 2023, he progressively stepped down from several positions within the ByteDance Group.
Following his departure, Ren Lifeng opted to venture into the burgeoning cross-border e-commerce industry. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, China’s cross-border e-commerce sector demonstrated robust growth in 2023, with imports and exports reaching 1.7 trillion yuan in the first three quarters, marking a 14.4% increase year-on-year. This growth has significantly contributed to the overall increase in goods trade imports and exports. Over the past year, Chinese cross-border e-commerce platforms, including Temu, Shein, and TikTok, have made significant strides in their overseas expansion.