Where does the fortune of Zhang Yiming come from?
Zhang Yiming is a Chinese billionaire internet entrepreneur. He founded ByteDance (the mother company of TikTok) in 2012 and developed the news aggregator Toutiao. As of 2021, with more than 1 billion monthly users, ByteDance is valued at $400 billion, making it the most valuable startup in the world. Zhang’s personal wealth is estimated at $35.6 billion, securing him one of the spots in the list of the the richest people in China.
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How did Yiming’s company ByteDance develop?
ByteDance is a multinational internet technology company headquartered in Beijing. It was founded by Zhang Yiming back in 2012. Zhang was enrolled at Nankai University in Tianjin, where he majored in microelectronics before changing to software engineering and graduated in 2005. Zhang thought that Chinese smartphone users were struggling to find information in mobile apps available in 2012 and the search giant Baidu was mixing search results with undisclosed advertising. His vision was to push relevant content to users using recommendations generated by artificial intelligence. In August 2012, ByteDance launched the Toutiao news app and within two years attracted more than 13 million daily users. The app began as a news recommendation engine and evolved into a platform delivering content in various formats, such as texts, images, question-and-answer posts, microblogs, and videos. Sequoia Capital, which rejected Zhang the first time, came around and led a $100 million investment in the company in 2014. In September 2015, ByteDance launched its video sharing app TikTok. The product was an instant hit with millennials and became popular worldwide. ByteDance bought Musical.ly a year later for $800 million and integrated it into TikTok. Today ByteDance counts more than 1 billion monthly users and generates revenues of $21 billion.
Is there a Zhang Yiming family office?
According to our research team, there is no specific organization that serves as Zhang Yiming’s personal single family office. As Yiming’s wealth is quite “young” and he’s very busy right now with the divesture of TikTok’s US business, he probably just has other things in mind now than setting up an investment office. But if the successful journey of ByteDance continues, he will have to deal with the thought where to invest his money and probably set up a single family office. We will keep you updated.
This article is part of our detailed report “The Single Family Offices of Asian Billionaires and HNWIs“.
Picture source: Franck