What’s worth $75 billion and is now the world’s most valuable startup? No, it’s not Uber. Chances are it’s not anything you’ve ever heard of. The Chinese tech company Bytedance has recently assumed the mantle as the most valuable start-up in the world. Boasting a portfolio of companies such as TikTok (formerly Live.ly and Musical.ly in the U.S.), the Chinese conglomerate is the latest behemoth in its homeland, controlling everything from search engines to social media and news platforms.
According to its 35 year old founder, Zhang Yiming, “The most important thing is that we are not a news business. We are more like a search business or a social media platform. We are doing very innovative work. We are not a copycat of a U.S. company, both in product and technology.”
Zhang’s work with Bytedance is a true testament of never giving up on your dreams and being amenable enough to adapt to change. Starting off as the Chinese news app Jinri Toutiao, Zhang made a series of smart investments and acquisitions that allowed him to reposition Bytedance into the powerhouse it is today.