In his Twitter announcement on 24th March, Shou Zi Chew, who recently left the Chinese electronic company Xiaomi, said he would join Tik Tok’s parent company Bytedance as chief financial officer in his home country Singapore. Earlier on Wednesday, Xiaomi filed Chew’s resignation to the Hong Kong stock exchange along with its fourth quarter financial results.
In his announcement, the Harvard Business School alumni expressed gratitude towards his colleagues at Xiaomi: “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my boss and mentor, Mr. Lei Jun, for taking a chance on me years ago. ” Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s CEO also bid a friendly farewell to Chew on his personal Weibo, saying “…we have been brothers of six years, still, I wish Chew a wonderful life, to always have the courage to move forward, and a future full of possibilities.”
Shou Zi Chew has served Xiaomi for the past six years and oversaw its Hong Kong IPO in 2018 as finance chief. It was the first-ever IPO in Hong Kong stock exchange to realize dual-class shares, and the move by Bytedance to have him in charge of the company’s finances sparked speculations about its intention to go public.
Bytedance, the creator of Douyin / TikTok and a series of other popular apps has long shown its ambition to expand worldwide. In a recent interview with Reuters, Zhang Yiming, the company’s CEO, elaborated his vision of ByteDance as a fully global company – along the lines set by Google and Facebook – even as it faces a national security review by the U.S. government over TikTok’s data practices.
Amid international pressure, Bytedance has tried to separate TikTok from most of its Chinese product lines to assure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
“Currently the IPO is not pressing and we don’t have any imminent plans,” Zhang said a year ago. “But internally we are making preparations as if we’re working on an IPO.”
Bytedance’s intentions with regard to going public have so far remained elusive, and we are yet to learn what strategy the new CFO will bring to the table.
Xiaomi will be taking in Shiwei Lin as its CFO. Lin was the Managing Director of Credit Suisse Asia Pacific Investment Banking and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Business of its Capital Markets Department.