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More about TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew ahead of talks with Ruto

President William Ruto is expected to meet TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew in Nairobi on August 24, 2023.

The meeting, according to the Head of State, is aimed at seeking ways to moderate content on the increasingly popular social media platform.

“I will be speaking to the Tik Tok CEO tomorrow about moderating and reducing negative content on the platform,” the President confirmed.

This follows an earlier meeting between the President and representatives from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which were also geared at ensuring content on the social media platforms is monetised.

Who is Zi Chew?

1. He is from Singapore

Chew was born and raised in Singapore, the island nation in Southeast Asia and attended an elite school with a strong Chinese heritage. He is fluent in both English and Mandarin. He was an officer in Singapore’s armed forces – a prestigious posting – while serving his military conscription.

2. He came to the limelight in 2015.

In 2015, Zi Chew joined smartphone giant Xiaomi as its chief financial officer. In 2019, he became Xiaomi’s foreign business president. In March 2021, Chew joined ByteDance as its chief financial officer. He jumped ship to ByteDance in March 2021, becoming the first person to fill the role of chief financial officer at the media giant.

He subsequently replaced TikTok CEO Kevin A.

3. He is an economist

Mr Zi Chew studied economics at the University College London. He then joined Goldman Sachs in investment banking and later received an M.B.A. from Harvard. He also interned at social media giant Facebook while it was still a start-up.

4. He joined TikTok in 2021

Mr. Chew took the helm of TikTok in May 2021 amid deep scrutiny over the app’s ties to China. He stepped in as a CEO in the wake of his predecessor Kevin Mayer’s abrupt resignation amid the Trump administration’s attempts to force a sale of TikTok’s US assets.

5. He is married to a Taiwanese American

Chew is married to Vivian Kao, a Taiwanese American. Chew met Kao by email when they were both completing summer internships in California, according to Harvard alumni magazine. The two are blessed with two children. He confirmed his children who are both minors are not allowed to access TikTok.

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