Over the last few years, Tik Tok has been in news for being banned by the US and Indian market. Due to that move by two markets, the parent company ByteDance suffered huge losses. But that loss did not stop 38-year-old Zhang Yiming from becoming one of the world’s richest.
According to a Bloomberg report, the shares of the company in the private market trade is at a valuation of more than $250 billion. Zhang owns about a quarter of ByteDance which makes him worth more than $60 billion, placing him alongside Pinduoduo's Colin Huang, Alibaba's Jack Ma, Tencent Holdings’ Pony Ma, bottled-water king Zhong Shanshan and other billionaires.
While Colin Huang is ranked 28th richest in the world, Zhang is the 29th richest in the world. Meanwhile, Jack Ma is the 25th richest in the world, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Short-video app, ByteDance and news aggregator Toutiao, witnessed its revenue double after expanding beyond its core advertising business into areas such as e-commerce and online gaming. Now, the group is mulling about opting for an initial public offering of some businesses.
"Zhang is someone who's known for thinking long-term and not easily dissuaded by short-term setbacks," said Ma Rui, partner at venture-capital firm Synaptic Ventures. "He is set on building an enduring, global business."
With the last fundraising round, ByteDance was valued at $180 billion. Three years ago, the valuation was $20 billion, according to CB Insights. The company's value for private-equity investors is approaching $400 billion, the South China Morning Post reported. This shows a further rise in fortune of Zhang.
With TikTok facing scrutiny in the US and Indian market, Zhang has put more effort into ByteDance's fast-growing Chinese businesses, which range from gaming to education to e-commerce. This change in strategy helped the company witness increase in sales to about $35 billion last year and operating profit to $7 billion, a person familiar with the results said.
According to a CNBC report, TikTok surpassed 2 billion global downloads and reported nearly 700 million monthly active users in July 2020.