TikTok has finally named a new permanent chief executive, eight months after its previous leader resigned as the US threatened to ban the app.
Shouzi Chew, a Singaporean national, has been appointed a new Chief Executive Officer of TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform announced on Friday. Chew, who is based in Singapore, will maintain close ties to ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, where he will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he was previously a top executive at Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer.
Vanessa Pappas, who previously served as interim CEO of TikTok, has been promoted to TikTok’s chief operating officer.
“The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa sets the stage for sustained growth,” ByteDance CEO Yiming Zhang said in a statement.
“Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors, and having worked in the technology sector for a decade. He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives.”
Chew is based in Singapore, indicating that the company no longer sees the need for a US-based CEO.
After the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok unless it sold its American business to a US entity, the short video website became entangled in a dramatic, months-long fight in the United States. Former US President Donald Trump attempted to stifle TikTok because of concerns that the software poses a national security threat, which TikTok has previously refuted.
Mayer resigned after just three months on the job, citing a significant change in “the political climate.”
Pappas, who had previously served as general manager of TikTok’s US operations from Los Angeles, was then promoted.
In a statement released earlier this year, Pappas said she was focusing on the app’s user experience and “reminding folks that we have a path forward.”
In the United States, TikTok is extremely common, with over 100 million users.
Since US President Joe Biden took office, the organization has largely remained out of the spotlight, with little intervention.
The Biden administration requested a federal court in February to put a hold on litigation over Trump’s efforts to bar TikTok from the US while it reviewed the previous administration’s approach to the social media business.
Last year, policymakers’ main concern was that, under Chinese national security rules, ByteDance could be required to hand over TikTok’s data on US users to the Chinese government.
TikTok, for its part, claims to store American user data on servers in the United States, with a backup in Singapore, and that its data is not subject to Chinese law. Sceptics claim that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is ultimately a Chinese company with ties to Beijing.
According to a court filing, TikTok refused to comment on the Biden administration’s request in February, but did not oppose the government’s motion.