ByteDance graphic
Source: ByteDance

ByteDance Is Planning a Major Reshuffle To Create Six Business Units

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Nov. 3 2021, Published 7:55 a.m. ET

ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, is changing its organizational structure into six business units, with CFO Shou Zi Chew stepping down to focus solely on his role as TikTok CEO beginning in Dece. 2021. Chew joined ByteDance in March as CFO and was named TikTok CEO in May. Many people want to know what’s happening with ByteDance.

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The major reshuffle comes after ByteDance postponed its plan to go public in April, stating that there were no imminent plans for an IPO. It had earlier planned for a New York or Hong Kong listing, according to the sources familiar with the matter.

ByteDance is restructuring its organizational structure

ByteDance is planning a major reorganization this week. The Beijing-based company has formed six business units to focus on various areas, ranging from enterprise software to gaming. The six units are short video platform TikTok, work collaboration unit Lark, business services unit BytePlus, education tech unit Dali, gaming unit Nuverse, and Douyin. ByteDance’s Chinese products, including Douyin, Xigua, and Toutiao, will be merged into the Douyin entity, which will combine all the information and service operations in China.

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what happened to bytedance
Source: ByteDance

The new model will improve internal operations, with the teams working closely together and grouped as business units. In 2020, ByteDance’s revenue grew by 111 percent year-over-year to $34.3 billion. The majority of the revenue was generated in China. This is the most significant organizational shift since ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming announced he would be stepping down as CEO in May. Liang Rubo will officially succeed Zhang as CEO in Dec. 2021.

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what happened to bytedance
Source: ByteDance

ByteDance had a bumpy year after Donald Trump's administration labeled it a national security concern and ordered it to sell its TikTok business in the U.S. That didn’t happen in the end, and TikTok reached a billion monthly active users in Sep. 2021.

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ByteDance founder steps down as chairman

Yiming has stepped down as chairman of ByteDance as the company continues to restructure its business. Rubo, who just took over as CEO, will now also serve as chairman. Representatives at ByteDance declined to comment on the matter.

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ByteDance’s valuation

Currently, ByteDance is valued at $300 billion, but the company has no intentions to go public through an IPO in the near future. It was valued at $140 billion in a 2020 financing round, then skyrocketed to $500 billion before falling back.

ByteDance has come under pressure in China from policymakers looking to rein in the country's once-freewheeling internet industry. While ByteDance, unlike peers Alibaba and Meituan, isn’t under investigation, the company was among more than two dozen companies ordered by the technology industry ministry to conduct internal audits and root out illegal online activities earlier in 2021. Its fintech division has also been hit with wide-ranging limitations similar to those imposed on Ant Group.

Regulators have slowed approval of new video games to impose tougher content and child protection requirements, threatening ByteDance’s emerging gaming business.

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