ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming sets up an investment fund in Hong Kong

May 24, 2023 11:17 pm

Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance, has set up a private investment fund in Hong Kong, targeting technology-related industries, Chinese financial news outlet Yicai reported on Wednesday.

The fund, known as Cool River Venture, was incorporated on May 22, the Hong Kong government’s companies registry showed.

This move marks a significant step in Zhang's career after resigning from his role as ByteDance’s CEO in May 2021. In his parting letter, Zhang expressed a deep interest in burgeoning tech sectors, including virtual reality, life sciences, and scientific computing.

The most recent Bloomberg Billionaires Index places Zhang's net worth at a whopping $42.3 billion.

Meanwhile, TikTok, ByteDance’s flagship product, is encountering escalating political difficulties in the US, where it claims a user base exceeding 100 million.

In March, TikTok CEO Shouzi Chew testified in Congress, in a bid to address the US government’s concerns about data security, privacy, and other issues. Most recently, Montana signed a bill banning the app from operating in the state.

The political fallout, combined with a downturn in financial markets, has hit ByteDance's valuation. In March, Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42 pumped money into the Chinese social media upstart at a valuation of about $220 billion, down sharply from its peak valuation of $400 billion in 2021.