TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced a grilling from a bipartisan US Congress on 23 March, with concerns over the Chinese government’s influence on the platform leading to calls for its ban in the US. Chew was called to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, impact on children, and relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
Members of both the Democratic and Republican parties posed tough questions to Chew, highlighting national security concerns associated with the video-sharing platform. Chew attempted to defend TikTok, stating that the company is taking real action to address Washington’s worries regarding data security risks for the platform’s 150 million US users.
Who is Shou Zi Chew?
Shou Zi Chew is a Singaporean entrepreneur and business executive who is currently the CEO of ByteDance, the Chinese technology company that owns the popular short-video sharing app TikTok. He joined the company in March 2021, succeeding co-founder Zhang Yiming.
Prior to joining ByteDance, Chew was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Xiaomi Corporation, a Chinese electronics company known for its smartphones and other smart devices. He played a key role in the company’s successful initial public offering (IPO) in 2018.
Chew is considered to be one of the most prominent and successful business leaders in Asia, having been recognized on Forbes Asia’s “30 under 30” list and Bloomberg’s “50 Most Influential” list in 2018. He has also been recognized for his contributions to education, having been awarded the Public Service Star in Singapore in 2019 for his work with the National University of Singapore.
Chew holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. He has worked in various roles in finance, including as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, before transitioning to the technology industry.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew Early life
Shou Zi Chew was born on January 1, 1983 in Singapore. His father worked in construction and his mother was a bookkeeper. After finishing his studies at Hwa Chong Institution, Chew served in the Singapore Armed Forces as a commissioned officer.
After his military service, Chew studied at University College London and graduated with a Bachelor of Economics degree in 2006. Later, in 2010, he completed his Master of Business Administration degree at Harvard Business School. While studying at Harvard, Chew completed a summer internship at Facebook before it became a public company.
Shou Zi Chew Career
After finishing his studies at University College London, Shou Zi Chew worked as a banker at Goldman Sachs in London for two years before joining venture capital firm DST Global. While at DST Global, Chew led a team of investors who invested in ByteDance in 2013.
In 2015, Chew became the chief financial officer of Xiaomi, a smartphone company. Later, in 2019, he became the company’s international business president.
In March 2021, Chew joined ByteDance as its chief financial officer. He replaced Kevin A. Mayer as the CEO of TikTok, a subsidiary of ByteDance. Mayer had only been in the job for three months.
In March 2023, Chew testified before the US Congress about a proposed law that could ban TikTok in the United States.
Personal life of Shou Zi Chew
Shou Zi Chew is from Singapore and he is married to Vivian Kao. Kao is of Taiwanese descent but is an American citizen. Chew and Kao met in 2008 while studying at Harvard Business School. They have two children together and live in Singapore.
In his free time, Chew enjoys playing golf and reading books about theoretical physics.