TikTok Maker ByteDance Appoints New China Leaders, Global Employees Approach 100,000

Beijing-based ByteDance, the owner of global short video app TikTok and Chinese news aggregator Toutiao, has appointed new China heads, the company founder and global CEO Zhang Yiming said in a March 12 letter to employees.

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The company named Zhang Lidong, who joined ByteDance in 2013, as the chairman of its China business, while the head of the Chinese short video app Douyin, Kelly Zhang Nan, was named as ByteDance’s China CEO.

Zhang Lidong has been overseeing the company’s commercialization process as a partner and senior vice president of ByteDance since 2013, developing products such as TikTok Ad Network and the car searching app “Dongchedi”, as well as promoting the company’s gaming business.

Kelly Zhang Nan is the former Douyin CEO and company’s market brand leader, previously leading Douyin and Huoshan to become hit short video platforms in China.

Both will report to the global head Zhang Yiming, who will shift his focus to the global market.

“As the global CEO of ByteDance, I will focus more on markets in Europe, North America and other parts of the world,” Zhang Yiming said. “I will work with Alex Zhu to improve our global board. Meanwhile, I’ll work to get Erich Andersen (the former chief intellectual property consultant of Microsoft) and Roland Cloutier (a network security expert) more involved with our team.”

Zhang also mentioned in the letter that the total number of the company’s global employees is expected to reach 100,000 in 2020.

“ByteDance has rapidly developed from a single product to a giant platform that provides multiple services to our customers all over the globe,” Zhang Yiming said. “We expect to reach 100,000 global employees this year.”