ByteDance Ltd, the parent company of popular short-video app TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin, announced Thursday that Zhang Yiming, its founder and global chief executive, would step down from the role to focus on the company’s long term growth.
Zhang will be succeeded by Liang Rubo, the company’s co-founder. Rubo, until now, has been the head of the company’s human resources department.
“The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I’m more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people,” Zhang wrote on the company’s website.
“Similarly, I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and contemplating what may be possible,” he added.
Zhang’s move to step down from the role comes at a time when Chinese regulators are increasing their scrutiny on online platforms — a significant shift from their previous hands-off approach that encouraged the growth of technology and eCommerce firms.
In April, ByteDance was one of the 13 online platforms that were notified by Chinese regulators to tighten the operation of their financial divisions.
“Internet platforms have played an important role in improving the efficiency of financial services and broadening the access of financial services to more people,” the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.
“At the same time, some financial services were running without licenses, and there are serious rule violations in areas such as regulatory arbitrage, unfair competition and damaging consumers’ interests,” it added.