ByteDance Updates Corporate Culture

Liang Rubo, CEO of Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, issued an internal letter on Wednesday night regarding “ByteStyle.” The official website shows that ByteStyle is an important part of ByteDance’s corporate culture and a code of conduct recognized by “ByteDancers.”

“Always Day 1” has been adjusted from fifth place to the first place in the ByteStyle plan. ByteDance has become a large company with nearly 160,000 staff. According to the internal letter, Liang Rubo is worried that the company will suffer from “the disease of big companies,” marked by abuse of resources and slow action. Liang says he is wondering whether the company has fallen into the “resource curse.” He believes that it should always keep an entrepreneurial mentality and “do things like a startup company in good condition.” The company and its employees must exhibit humility and have a small ego, so that problems can be discovered and continuous progress can be made.

The importance of “Champion Diversity & Inclusion” is also increasing in the corporate strategy, moving from last place to second. This was first added to the ByteStyle by Zhang Yiming in March 2020, proposing that the company should “understand and attach importance to differences and diversity, and build a diversified team.” At that time, ByteDance had entered its third year of globalization, and TikTok already had 20,000 employees from different countries.

“Aim for the Highest” was updated, too. Liang Rubo reminded the team not to simply pursue perfection, which can cause excessive attention to be paid to unimportant details, but to dare to break through boundaries and find the best solutions in the maximum range.

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“Be courageous” has also been updated within ByteDance’s corporate values, and the original line has become “Be Grounded & Courageous.” “Everyone should keep curiosity and get to the bottom of things,” Liang Rubo wrote in the internal letter. ByteDancers are encouraged to raise “stupid” questions at work.

The only new line is “Growing Together.” Liang Rubo explained that “engagement” in previous performance measurements would make employees mistakenly think that working hours have to be longer, but in fact they do not. The company hopes to grow together with its employees and do valuable things together.

In addition to updating the company culture of the whole company and its employees, Liang also put forward new requirements for managers: resilience and results. “Team managers should be able to lead the team to overcome difficulties and achieve goals without fear of trouble.”

“It is necessary to start from the management to practice the ByteStyle in a grounded manner,” the letter reads. Many ByteDance employees said that the only line that hasn’t changed much is “Be Candid & Clear,” but such an internal meeting was only held once in March.