BEIJING (AFP) – Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming, the brains behind TikTok, said he preferred “daydreaming” as he stepped down as head of his own firm last week.
But his departure comes as several of China’s once-lauded tech entrepreneurs step aside under increasing scrutiny from a government concerned about their growing power and influence.
In his self-effacing May 20 memo, Zhang confesses to limitations as head of Bytedance – the Beijing-based parent of video-sharing app TikTok -and warned of the risks of the “CEO becoming overly central” and cluttering the vision of what is coming next.
However, his hurried departure comes as rumours of a mega-listing swirl around his firm, the world’s most valuable tech startup which soaks up advertisers from its hundreds of millions of users of Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok.
He joins a growing list of billionaire tech chiefs who have suddenly left – at least in public – well before…