Saturday, December 1, 2018

How the company behind TikTok became the world’s most valuable startup

TikTok is inescapable right now, and it’s not just teens paying attention — it’s rocked the business world as well. Bytedance, the owner of the wildly popular short-form video app, is now valued at more than $75 billion following a new round of investment. This means Uber has unexpectedly lost its long-held title of the world’s most valuable tech startup to a low-profile challenger from China.

You could be forgiven for not having heard the name Bytedance before the recent news. The founder, 35-year-old Zhang Yiming, rarely gives interviews, and the company’s Western-facing media presence is close to nonexistent. But the company’s global ambitions are real and so are its chances. Bytedance is the first Chinese internet company with a...

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