The career path of Zhang Yiming, the creator of TikTok, the only social network that can compete with Facebook

As the man behind the TikTok app and parent company ByteDance, Zhang Yiming is quite tight-lipped. Many people outside of China know almost nothing about the billionaire founder who holds .2 billion and is the 10th richest person in China.

Zhang Yiming was born in 1983 in Fujian province, China into a family of public servants. During his childhood, Zhang heard his parents talk about new technologies abroad or developing a product. This helped Zhang develop an interest in business and innovation from a young age.

Zhang was encouraged by his parents to try new things and allowed him to decide the direction of his life early on. In high school, Zhang excelled in chemistry but did not want to become a scientist because he felt that mixing chemicals to create chemical reactions was tasteless and even dangerous.

holder The career path of Zhang Yiming, the creator of TikTok, the only social network that can compete with Facebook

Zhang graduated from Nakei University with a major in software engineering in 2005. After graduating, he worked at an online travel booking service startup called Kuxun. Just a year later, he became the manager in charge of 40-50 people in the technology support team and other product related activities. A year later, Zhang was promoted to Chief Technology Officer.

Zhang said that his job at Kuxun taught him sales skills to later serve ByteDance.

Once when he was working at Kuxun, Zhang wanted to book a train ticket to his hometown but didn’t know when the ticket would go on sale. Search engines ask users to enter information every time to find what they want. Zhang spent an hour during his lunch hour writing a search program that would notify him when a ticket was available instead of having to search again and again. Thanks to it, Zhang received information when there was a new ticket to go to the train station to buy it without having to buy a ticket from the ticket faction or sitting in front of the computer.

READ:  Vietnamese engineer's "AI musician" can write 10 songs in 1 second

holder The career path of Zhang Yiming, the creator of TikTok, the only social network that can compete with Facebook

In 2006, Zhang left Kuxun to work at Microsoft to learn how to manage their operations. But he soon left Microsoft because he was tired of the company’s regulations.

After that, Zhang joined the startup Fanfou – a website that copied Twitter’s model in China but unfortunately this startup did not succeed.

In 2009, when Expedia acquired Kuxun, Zhang bought Kuxun’s real estate search business and started his first company with

Zhang noticed that users were gradually moving from desktop to mobile, so he became interested in mobile development. In 6 months, he launched 5 mobile applications, including a rental and home buying application. Soon after, 99fang became the most popular real estate app with 1.5 million users.

holder The career path of Zhang Yiming, the creator of TikTok, the only social network that can compete with Facebook

In 2012, wanting to create a platform where mobile app search results were powered by AI, Zhang created a new startup, Bytedance.

In August 2012, Zhang launched Toutiao, a newspaper reading app. In 2 years, it has attracted 13 million daily active users. Toutiao’s success helped Zhang reach the top 30 under 30 Forbes China.

In 2013, Zhang’s startup received a 0 million investment from the Sequoia fund. This capital helped Zhang launch Toutiaohao to attract users to create their own content.

In June 2017, Zhang quietly developed the Douyin application, which is equipped with many built-in filters and sound effects that allow users to record and edit videos, then share directly on social networks such as: Weibo or WeChat.

In just 1 year, Douyin has reached 100 million users with more than 1 billion videos watched every day. With the success of Douyin, Zhang decided to build a global version of it. And in 2017, TikTok was born and introduced to the international market.

READ:  Everything you need to know about OpenAI

In August 2018, ByteDance spent at least billion to acquire, a platform that allows users to publicize their dancing and singing through short videos. Later, Tiktok merged with creating a larger video community.

TikTok has become a global cultural phenomenon and is the third most downloaded non-gaming app in the world, behind only WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

During the Covid-19 epidemic, TikTok officially became the most installed application on the planet with 2 billion downloads.

After the latest funding round, ByteDance is now valued at more than 0 billion. In 2019, the company achieved a net profit of billion, double the 2018 figure.

However, TikTok is currently facing some difficulties due to the ongoing wave of boycotts in India and the US. But Zhang doesn’t seem too worried about this. Many people think that Bytedance will most likely create an explosive next application like TikTok.