From Facebook intern to TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew It is the unknown Singaporean at the controls of the social network, who this Thursday stood up in defense of a commission of the US Congress, which threatens to ban the application due to its possible links with the Chinese regime.
Shou Zi Chew, 40, clashed on Capitol Hill in maximum control after going almost unnoticed since he was named CEO of the successful video platform in May 2021, with Vanessa Pappas, director of operations, TikTok’s most visible face to date.
The Singaporean arrived at the Capitol in Washington with the mission of persuading the US Congressional Energy and Commerce Committee of the argument that the platform has profusely defended: that TikTok works independently of its owner, the Chinese ByteDance.
From the FBI to the US legislature have expressed concern over the possibility of TikTok being used by Beijing to spy work.
“TikTok is led by its global CEO, Shou Zi Chew, a Singaporean based in Singapore,” TikTok said in a letter written to the US Congress last June.
Despite the Singaporean’s inexperience in this type of public struggle, he is more than trained in the shadows to tackle the daunting task of presenting itself to the West as the leader of an autonomous global platform, fulfilling Beijing’s demands for ByteDance.
Born and raised in Singapore, a country that is a bridge between the West and the East – it is known as the “Switzerland” of Asia-, Shou Zi Chew is bilingual in English and Mandarinand his education and background have strengthened the versatility of many Singaporeans to adapt to both Chinese companies and Western multinationals.
Chew, according to the Island Paper this Thursday The times of the straitstudied at an elite school in the Asian city-state, Hwa Chong (whose education program is taught in Chinese), and, after completing the island’s mandatory military service, gradueted in economy at University College London (UCL).
Also in London, he worked for a season at Goldman Sachs, before joining the Harvard Business Schoolwhere he met his future wife, the American of Taiwanese origin Vivian Kao, with whom he has two children and who manages an investment fund in Singapore.
After completing his MBA from Harvard, he was hired by Facebook as an intern in the US and later joined Facebook joint venture company DST Global, founded by Silicon Valley billionaire Yuri Milner, indicates The times of the strait.
It was at DST Global where he led a team that invested in the origins of Byte Dance in 2013, although before formalizing his relationship with them passed through the Chinese Xiaomi, becoming its chief financial officer in 2015 and its president of international affairs in 2019.
In March 2021 left Xiaomi for TikTokfirst as chief financial officer (CFO) and just two months later as its managing directorreplacing American Kevin Meyer.
ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming later praised Chew, saying he brought “in-depth knowledge of the company and the industry,” though their real influence on platform decisions is questionedwhich could be taken directly by Zhang from China, as published in September The New York Times.
Chew has been slow to get involved with TikTok, at least personally: It wasn’t until February 2022. when you created your account on the platform, and has assured that he does not allow his children, whose age is not known, to use it. “They’re too young for this,” she told The New York Times last year.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.