Shou Zi Chew, a 40-year-old entrepreneur, was born on January 1, 1983, in Singapore.
Raised in an affluent family alongside his brothers, he received his education at Hwa Chong Institution before serving as a commissioned officer in the Singapore Army.
Following his military service, Chew relocated to London to complete his undergraduate studies in economics at the University of London.
He further advanced his education by earning a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he also completed a summer internship at Facebook.
Net Worth 2024
In May 2021, Shou Zi Chew assumed the role of CEO at ByteDance, taking over from the company’s founder, Zhang Yiming.
Before his tenure at ByteDance, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for Xiaomi Corporation and had a stint as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
As we enter 2024, his estimated net worth stands at approximately $1.5 billion USD according to Hot New HipHop.
While Chew has amassed an impressive fortune, it is important to note that he is not the owner of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. That title belongs to Zhang Yiming. As of 2023, Yiming’s net worth was estimated to be a staggering $43.4 billion, according to Forbes.
Shou began his professional journey after completing his education at the University of London, starting his career in the banking sector with Goldman Sachs, a leading American investment bank and financial services company based in London as noted by Straits Times.
Before this role, he had already acquired a diverse set of experiences across various fields.
After a two-year stint at Goldman Sachs, Shou transitioned to a venture capital firm named DST Global, where he led the team focused on ByteDance investments.
He then joined Xiaomi, a Chinese multinational company specializing in the design and manufacturing of electronics, initially serving as its Chief Financial Officer.
By 2019, Shou had risen to the position of President of Xiaomi’s international division. In 2021, ByteDance appointed him as Chief Financial Officer.
However, after a brief period, he left the CFO position to become the CEO of TikTok, succeeding the former American businessman Kevin A. Maye.
Tik Tok Story
@shou.time What’s your favorite effect? #versejumping #3millionfollowers ♬ Immigrant Song (Remaster) – Led Zeppelin
Before joining Xiaomi, Shou Zi Chew was employed at DST, an investment firm founded by Yuri Milner, an Israeli-Russian billionaire in the tech industry as reported by The New York Times.
During his five-year tenure there, he managed a team that was among the initial investors in ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok.
In March 2021, Shou became the first person to hold the position of Chief Financial Officer for the media conglomerate. Shortly after, in May 2021, he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. This move garnered significant admiration for Shou Zi Chew.
Zhang Yiming, ByteDance’s founder and former CEO, praised Shou for his extensive understanding of the company and the broader technology sector.
He highlighted Shou’s leadership of a team that was one of ByteDance’s earliest investors and his decade-long experience in tech.
Kevin Mayer, Chew’s predecessor, left the role after just three months to join Walt Disney. It was reported that Mayer’s departure was influenced by pressure from American lawmakers concerned about the security implications of the app.
- From July 2006 to July 2008, worked at Goldman Sachs International.
- Completed an internship at Facebook during its start-up phase.
- Held the position of Director at Kingsoft Cloud Holdings Limited, a branch of Kingsoft Corporation Limited.
- Became a partner at DST Investment Management Ltd in July 2015.
- In 2019, took on the roles of Senior Vice President, Executive Director, and President of Global Business Groups at Xiaomi.
Wife and Family Life
Shou Zi Chew is married to Vivian Kao, a fellow Singaporean and successful businesswoman, with whom he shares two children. The couple maintains a low profile, opting for private settings on their Instagram and other social media accounts, reflecting their preference for privacy.
Their paths first crossed at Harvard University, where both were pursuing their MBAs. It was during this intense period of academic endeavor that they found love, even as they focused on achieving their educational goals.
Their initial connection was made via email in 2008, but it wasn’t until the following summer, when both were interning in California, that they truly got to know each other.
Vivian Kao holds the position of CEO at Tamarind Global, a company that specializes in financial services.
Tamarind Global is dedicated to managing the investment portfolio and philanthropic efforts of a prominent Singaporean family spanning the third and fourth generations.
The firm’s mission is centered on ensuring long-term capital preservation and growth, with a particular emphasis on investments.
The family, now including Shou Zi Chew, Vivian Kao, their two children, and the family dog, has settled in Beijing, China. Before making Beijing their home, they traveled extensively, visiting places like London, Singapore, and Hong Kong according to Harvard Business School Alumni.
Both are also recognized for their philanthropy, being active donors and members of the Harvard Business School Fund Investors Society.
Congressional Testimony and Controversy
In March 2023, he faced a significant challenge when he was called upon to address the U.S. Congress regarding TikTok’s ties to China and the potential implications for national security as stated by CNBC.
The Biden administration had taken a firm stance, proposing to ban TikTok unless its Chinese stakeholders divested their shares in the app.
This situation intensified the scrutiny on Chew, especially as the app was already banned on government devices in the U.S. and other nations, heightening suspicions about its operations.
Repeated Citizenship Queries
During a tense congressional testimony focused on online safety for children, Singaporean TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was persistently questioned by Sen. Tom Cotton about his citizenship and potential affiliations with the Chinese Communist Party according to Business Insider.
Despite Chew’s repeated clarifications of his Singaporean nationality, the line of questioning continued, touching on his past, present, and future citizenship, his family’s American citizenship, and his connections to the Chinese communist party.
This interrogation took place amidst a broader, combative hearing with CEOs from four other social media companies, including X, Meta, Snap, and Discord, all scrutinized for their platforms’ safety measures for children.
The intense focus on Chew and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, reflects ongoing concerns over Chinese government influence and data misuse, amidst a backdrop of anti-Asian rhetoric that conflates Chinese ancestry with the actions of the Chinese Communist Party.
Shou Zi Chew, the successful CEO of TikTok, is not only focused on the growth of his company and followers but is also actively involved in philanthropy. Under his leadership, TikTok has contributed to numerous social causes, and Chew himself has also engaged in personal charitable activities.
One of TikTok’s notable initiatives is the Creativity for Good program, which encourages users to demonstrate their creativity in addressing societal issues. This program has led to numerous innovative ideas and campaigns designed to raise awareness and funds for various non-profit organizations.
Shou Zi Chew’s commitment to education is also evident in his support for underprivileged students. He has personally donated to several scholarship programs, providing financial assistance for bright students from low-income families to pursue their higher education. This effort underlines Chew’s dedication to narrowing the education gap and improving access to quality education for all.
Shou Zi Chew’s remarkable journey from a young student in Singapore to the CEO of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is a testament to his visionary leadership, strategic acumen, and unwavering commitment to innovation.
His tenure at ByteDance has been marked by significant achievements, including navigating regulatory challenges, spearheading philanthropic initiatives, and driving TikTok’s global expansion.
Chew’s leadership has not only propelled TikTok to unprecedented success but has also positioned the platform as a pivotal player in the digital landscape, influencing content creation, social interaction, and digital marketing strategies across the globe.