Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 27 Zhang Yiming $44.5B

Random fact: Doesn't employ a single editor in his news aggregation business.

Overview

Zhang is the founder of ByteDance, the social media group behind video-sharing app TikTok. The Beijing-based company also owns the news aggregation service Toutiao. ByteDance has more than 1 billion users worldwide and reported revenue of $58 billion in 2021. Zhang stepped down as chief executive in May 2021.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change No change
Biggest asset ByteDance
Country / Region China
Age 39
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Zhang Yiming's net worth of $44.5B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Zhang's wealth is derived from his stake in ByteDance, a social media group and the world's most valuable startup. The Beijing-based company has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide, according to a Nov. 3, 2021 Bloomberg News report. It had revenue of $58 billion in 2021, according to a Jan. 20, 2022 report.

Zhang is credited with a 25% stake based on a Wall Street Journal report dated Sept. 17, 2020.

ByteDance is valued at $178 billion, according to the a Softbank Group filing for the nine-months to Dec. 31, 2020. The company was valued at $20 billion in 2017, according to a Bloomberg interview with Zhang in September 2017, and at $110 billion in May 2020, according to a Bloomberg News report. Subsequent reports about trades in the secondary market have put the valuation at as much as $400 billion. The Softbank valuation is used in this analysis because of volatility in secondary trading and uncertainty about future value.

The valuation was updated on April 13, 2021 to reflect new information on the company's valuation and this led to an increase in the calculation of about $9.5 billion.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on Zhang's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1983
Family: Married, No children
Education: Nankai University

Zhang Yiming was born in 1983 in Fujian province of China. He grew up in the southeastern city of Longyan, the only son of civil servants, according to a Bloomberg News report in 2017.

He studied software engineering in Nankai University in Tianjian. Graduating in 2005, he started his career as an engineer at the tourism search website, Kuxun.com. In 2009, Zhang started his first business, a property search site called 99fang.com. He quit the business three years later.

In 2012, Zhang founded ByteDance, a Beijing-based business that provides news aggregation services. The company is said to have had revenue of about 50 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) in 2018. It reported a revenue of $17 billion in 2019. Bloomberg reported ByteDance's valuation exceeds $100 billion in private markets in May 2020 and the company is seeking another $2 billion funding raising round at a $180 billion valuation in November 2020.

Milestones
  • 2012 ByteDance was founded in Beijing.
  • 2014 Daily active users climbed to more than 13 million.
  • 2015 Launched its first international product TopBuzz.
  • 2017 Acquired News Republic, a global media news aggregator.