Caixin
May 21, 2021 09:10 AM
CX DAILY

CX Daily: ByteDance Founder Zhang Yiming to Step Down as CEO

Zhang Yiming
Zhang Yiming

ByteDance /

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming to step down as CEO

ByteDance Ltd.’s co-founder Zhang Yiming plans to step down as CEO, signaling a major leadership shake-up at the 9-year-old technology firm that created global short-video sensation TikTok.

The billionaire entrepreneur will be succeeded by Liang Rubo, ByteDance’s head of human resources, according to a memo from Zhang published on the company’s blog.

Zhang will remain at ByteDance, where he will focus on “longer-term initiatives” after stepping back from day-to-day responsibilities, he wrote. He did not say whether he would remain chairman or specify what form his new role would take, but he hinted that he may focus on social impact.

Electric vehicles /

Biden says U.S. will win race for electric car supremacy

President Joe Biden reiterated that the United States will invest heavily to prevent China from dominating the global electric vehicle (EV) industry, underscoring Washington’s intention to compete fiercely with the Asian giant on emerging and climate-friendly technologies.

“They think they’re going to win,” Biden said of China during a speech to promote his flagship jobs program at a car factory in Michigan. “Well, I got news for them: They will not win this race. We can’t let them.”

FINANCE & ECONOMY

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Cryptocurrencies /

Forced sell-offs of pledged cryptocurrencies turbocharge price plunge

The plunge in prices of major cryptocurrencies this week has been driven in part by massive forced sales of cryptocurrencies pledged as collateral for financing, especially those on automated blockchain platforms, industry participants said.

Bitcoin nosedived as much as 30% to $30,000 Wednesday evening, though it mounted a recovery Thursday. Ethereum (ETH), the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, sank more than 40% Wednesday night, while internet-meme token Dogecoin lost 50%.

Behind the scenes was the deleveraging of an overleveraged market, Wu Jihan, founder of cryptocurrency mining services platform BitDeer, told Caixin. Wu said Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk’s recent U-turn on the electric-vehicle maker accepting payments in Bitcoin and worries that Chinese regulators could tighten oversight also contributed to the recent sell-offs.

Related: Bitcoin plunge wipes $500 billion from value in crypto rout

Social credit /

Guangdong bars range of nonfinancial data from social credit ratings

China’s southern Guangdong province outlined a new social credit regulation Tuesday restricting the data that merchants can collect on consumers and the sanctions that can be imposed on those with poor credit.

Under new rules going into effect next month, merchants and market credit information collectors are prohibited from collecting information on an individual’s religion, blood type, diseases, medical history and biometrics. For people and entities with low credit ratings, the regulation includes a list of permitted restrictions on consumption and bars businesses from other measures.

Brokerage /

Japan’s Daiwa plots China expansion to tap wealth management

Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Japan’s second-largest brokerage, may soon seek to join global financial companies vying to manage a slice of China’s rapidly growing asset-management market.

The company’s majority owned Beijing-based joint venture, Daiwa Securities (China) Co., is due to launch later this month, initially with investment banking as well as stock brokering and fixed-income trading, CEO Seiji Nakata, said in an interview. But his aspirations don’t stop there.

Quick hits /

Wang Shuo: Any fix to China’s pension woes can’t be a perpetual motion machine

BUSINESS & TECH

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Zuo Hui. Photo: IC Photo

Real estate /

Founder of property services giant KE Holdings dies

Zuo Hui (左晖), founder and chairman of New York-listed residential real estate services giant KE Holdings Inc., died Thursday after an “unexpected worsening of illness,” the company said without providing specifics.

“Our commitment to clients, employees, shareholders and business partners remains as strong as ever, and we will continue to do the right thing even if it’s difficult,” said CEO Peng Yongdong in a statement.

The company said its board will make “appropriate arrangements for corporate governance and related matters and make an announcement in due course within two weeks.” Shares of KE, which uses the name Beike in Chinese, were down more than 10% in Thursday pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tencent /

One-off investment gains drive up Tencent’s first-quarter profit

Leading game company Tencent Holdings Ltd. Thursday reported that first quarter revenue and profit surged, with financial services emerging as the outstanding performer.

The company’s revenue grew 25% year-on-year to 135 billion yuan ($21 billion) for the three months through March while profit jumped 65% to 47.8 billion yuan. Much of the profit jump came from a sharp increase in “other gains,” which rose nearly fivefold to 19.5 billion yuan and were related to changes in the value of some of its investments.

Skyscraper /

Shenzhen skyscraper shaking spurs safety alert by U.S. consulate

The U.S. consulate in southern China’s Guangdong province issued a safety alert warning Americans to avoid a 75-story skyscraper in Shenzhen after the building mysteriously wobbled during a fine day Tuesday.

U.S. citizens should avoid SEG Plaza and the nearby Huaqiangbei area, the consulate said Wednesday in a statement. The alert will remain in force until further notice, it said.

Thousands of people in the SEG Plaza and surrounding areas fled after the building wobbled Tuesday. The tower’s owner, Shenzhen Electronics Group Co., said tenants felt it shake at 12:31 p.m., and building management immediately organized an evacuation.

Livestreaming /

Merger doubts persist as Tencent-backed livestreamers post diverging quarterly results

China’s top game livestreamer Huya Inc. recorded a profit in the first quarter of this year, while its rival Douyu International Holdings. Ltd. booked a loss amid continuing uncertainties about the future merger of the companies, both of which are backed by internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

New York-listed Huya reported 185.5 million yuan ($28.3 million) in net income attributable to shareholders in the first three months of this year, up 8.4% year-on-year, according to its latest unaudited quarterly report released Tuesday. Nasdaq-listed Douyu, however, booked 62 million yuan of net loss attributable to shareholders in the first quarter of this year, swinging from net income of 260.5 million yuan in the same period last year, its financial results showed.

Quick hits /

Fosun unit mulls bid for bankrupt HNA’s airline assets

Hong Kong turns to foreign-trained doctors to relieve public health shortage

Edtech firm Zhangmen files for U.S. IPO as regulatory scrutiny tightens at home

Today's CX Daily was compiled and edited by Kevin Guo (xinguo@caixin.com).

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