- TitleCEO, China
In March, Kelly Zhang, a newcomer to the Most Powerful Women International list, was promoted from CEO of Douyin, TikTok’s mainland China sister app, to CEO of ByteDance China. The new role puts her in charge of flagship apps like Douyin, news aggregator Toutiao, and other Chinese platforms operated by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech firm that’s considered one of the most valuable unicorns in the world. Outside the China market, ByteDance’s app TikTok has been at the center of a still-unresolved political dispute between China and the U.S. as the Trump administration pursues a ban of the platform over alleged national security concerns, which ByteDance denies. But within China, ByteDance is thriving. Zhang, who joined ByteDance in 2014 after it acquired a photo-sharing app that she cofounded, helped create Douyin in 2016 and grew its daily active users to over 600 million as of August.
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