TikTok Owner ByteDance Hires Away Executive From Xiaomi to Be CFO

ByteDance Ltd., owner of the popular TikTok video-sharing platform, has poached an executive from smartphone giant

Xiaomi Corp.

to become its new finance chief.

Shou Zi Chew,

who had served as Xiaomi’s chief financial officer from 2015 to 2020, said on Twitter he would leave the Beijing-based company for a new role at ByteDance.

“I will soon join ByteDance as CFO and return to Singapore, my hometown,” Mr. Chew said in his post Wednesday.

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

His appointment comes after months of tensions between the U.S. and China over TikTok fueled by allegations by former President

Donald Trump,

according to which the social-networking platform presented a national security threat for the U.S.

Shou Zi Chew.



Photo:

Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg News

An effort by the Trump administration last summer to ban TikTok caused a monthslong struggle that included retaliatory regulations from 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 indefinitely shelved after Mr. Trump lost his bid for re-election.

The Biden administration is assessing whether the national security threat cited by its predecessor continues to warrant the ban. A study by a group of university cybersecurity researchers released on Monday found the computer code underlying TikTok doesn’t pose a national security threat to the U.S.

ByteDance founder

Zhang Yiming

last year resisted selling TikTok despite calls from large Western backers to do so. ByteDance counts General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital as investors and was valued at $180 billion in December, according to data research company PitchBook Data Inc.

ByteDance didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Write to Nina Trentmann at [email protected]

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