ByteDance poaches Xiaomi exec as IPO nears

The International Business President of Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi, has announced he’s leaving the company to join ByteDance, the owner of the TikTok social media network.

Shou Zi Chew has been appointed by ByteDance’s in the newly created role of Chief Financial Officer. He will relocate from Beijing to Singapore.

In a Twitter message, Shou Zi Chew, paid tribute to his Xiaomi colleagues.

“I would like to thank every member of the Xiaomi family – including the Board of Directors, Partners and employees – for the incredible opportunity to build this company together,” he wrote.

“I have full faith that Xiaomi’s future is bright and that we are on track to deliver our mission: to enable everyone in the world to enjoy a better life through innovative technology.”

Shou Zi Chew spent six years at Xiaomi.

ByteDance IPO speculation mounts

The appointment has intensified speculation that ByteDance is edging closer to its much-anticipated IPO.

ByteDance recently closed a funding round led by U.S. private equity firms Sequoia Capital and KKR & Co, which valued the company at $180 billion. It was the world’s most valuable financing round in the private market.

ByteDance has reportedly been considering whether to go for a standalone public listing for Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) or list some of its Chinese operations, including Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, as a package in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

ByteDance has also been contemplating a listing in Europe or the U.S. for the TikTok social network, which is not available in China.