From Facebook intern to the crosshairs of Congress: TikTok chief’s stellar rise

Shou Zi Chew has said the maximum gruelling experience of his life turned into a five-day survival path in the jungles of Borneo while he became serving as a conscript in Singapore’s defense force.

The TikTok chief executive, whose trans-worldwide academic and commercial enterprise career has swiftly propelled him to the top activity at one of the international’s biggest tech companies, will want to display a number of that mettle as he battles to ensure the corporate survival of the debatable however immensely famous social video app.

The forty-year-vintage Singaporean, who faces questioning by using US lawmakers on Thursday amid communicate of a possible ban within the US, came from a exceptionally modest history: his father worked in creation and mother in bookkeeping. His destiny become converted at the age of 12 whilst excessive marks on a national examination got him into an elite high college, in which he introduced fluency in Mandarin to his native English.

Following his military service – Chew is a reservist officer within the Singaporean army till he is 50 – he received a bachelor’s diploma in economics from University College London.He stayed on in the UK capital, turning into a banker at Goldman Sachs for two years, funding experience that might sooner or later lead him to meet a young Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, when he turned into growing the agency in a filled condo in Beijing’s university district.

In 2010, Chew gained his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he were given his first enjoy of existence in the tech area with an internship at Facebook whilst the social networking enterprise become nevertheless in startup mode before going public in 2012.It was additionally wherein he met his Taiwanese-American future wife Vivian Kao, with whom he has two kids. Chew – whose TikTok profile turned into created in February remaining year and has simply 23 posts, such as motion pictures of him attending the Super Bowl and NBA games as well as meeting celebrities such as Bill Murray – does now not allow his youngsters to use the app, having stated remaining November that they’re “too younger”.

After business faculty, Chew joined the challenge capital firm DST, founded by using the Israeli-Russian IT billionaire Yuri Milner, where his Mandarin certified him to be its China-targeted accomplice.

This would see him make his pivotal visit to Zhang’s ByteDance in 2012 earlier than the team created TikTok, resulting in Chew and his partners making an investment in the startup the subsequent 12 months.

He additionally led funding in Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker with global pursuits to take on Apple, which he joined as leader financial officer in 2015 on the age of 32.

Chew helped to at ease financing that led to the enterprise’s public list three years later. At the time this turned into one among China’s largest ever tech preliminary public offerings, although its proportion performance has since been mixed. He become made head of its worldwide enterprise in 2019.In 2021, Zhang persuaded Chew to join ByteDance as its first chief economic officer. Two months later, he become expanded to chief government following the abrupt departure of the previous Disney government Kevin Mayer after simply 3 months, because the Trump administration tried to force a sale of TikTok’s US assets.

Chew’s rise to the top of the tech industry landed him a spot on Fortune’s forty below 40 list in 2021.

The low-profile exec is now embarking on a media offensive as part of TikTok’s wider efforts to galvanise guide to preclude a ban in the US and different countries.

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