The founder of TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, is stepping down as CEO amid some of its biggest challenges.
TikTok drew the ire of the Trump administration over privacy and security concerns. The company has had a number of major missteps, including being accused of sending data to China, violating child privacy and running afoul of EU privacy laws. The Trump administration approved a ban against the platform in an effort to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company. Oracle and Walmart eventually emerged as the winning candidates.
Ultimately, the ban and forced sale was tied up in court. The change in administrations added to the chaos, with the Biden administration wanting to evaluate whether a ban was warranted.
With the platform’s future still in question, ABC News is reporting that founder Zhang Yiming is stepping down, to be replaced by Liang Rubo, another co-founder. Zhang said the change would allow “enable me to have greater impact on longer-term initiatives,” although he did not detail what those initiates may be.