Zhang Yiming
Courtesy of ByteDance



Founder / CEO

A software engineer by training, Zhang started ByteDance in 2012, and the venture-backed Internet company now has a reported valuation of $75 billion as well as a billion global users. ByteDance’s core news app, Toutiao, quickly became popular, and in late 2017 the company acquired short-form video startup Musical.ly in a billion-dollar deal, merging it with TikTok, which has become one of the world’s top short-form social video platforms. That ascendance hasn’t come without a price: Zhang will need to contend with increasing U.S. regulatory scrutiny about his company’s ties to the Chinese government and its potential access to TikTok user data. Just 36 years old, he previously founded Kuxun, a major travel and transportation search engine in China.


  • Toutiao
  • TikTok
  • Kuxun


  • Nankai University (China)

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