When TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testifies before Congress next month, he’s likely to face heated questions about the app’s Chinese ownership. TikTok has taken steps to distance itself from its parent, ByteDance, but a close look at the Chinese tech giant’s management structure shows how closely integrated TikTok remains.
Most noticeable is the fact that Chew doesn’t oversee all parts of the app’s operations. For example, TikTok’s head of human resources, Nicky Raghavan, reports to ByteDance’s head of HR, and not to Chew. TikTok’s online shopping operations are led by ByteDance’s e-commerce chief, Kang Zeyu, who reports to a Beijing-based senior executive, as The Information reported last month. (After publication of that article, ByteDance tweaked its org chart to give Chew some—albeit limited—oversight of TikTok’s e-commerce business by adding a dotted reporting line from Kang to Chew.)
Today we’re updating our ByteDance org chart, which the privately held company doesn’t publicly disclose. It shows Chew is one of 12 executives who report to ByteDance CEO and Chair Liang Rubo—a reminder that TikTok belongs to a much bigger organization. It also identifies more than 70 people with power throughout ByteDance.