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Who owns TikTok?

TIKTOK is one of the most downloaded apps in the world, allowing users to share short video clips in genres like dance, comedy, or education.

TikTok now has almost 1billion users worldwide - but who owns the popular app, and how much is it worth?

TikTok allows users to create content in genres such as dance, music, comedy, or educationCredit: AFP

Who owns TikTok?

TikTok is owned by Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, founded by the Chinese billionnaire entrepreneur, Zhang Yiming.

The 38-year-old was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2019, who described him as "the top entrepreneur in the world".

After graduating Nankai University with a BA in Software Engineering in 2005, he worked for a number of tech companies, including Microsoft.

He founded his own internet tech firm ByteDance in 2012, which developed apps and news aggregation services, including TikTok.

TikTok allows users to share up to 60 seconds of video - either creating their own content, or lip-syncing to popular songs, comedy sketches, or film scenes.

TikTok's founder, Zhang Yiming, is the seventh richest man in China, with a net worth of $35.6bnCredit: Reuters

What is Zhang Yiming's net worth?

Zhang Yiming has a net worth of $59.4billion, making him China's second richest man, according to his Forbes profile.

ByteDance is the most valuable start-up in the world, having surpassed Uber in 2018, and is now valued at nearly $400 billion.

It has more than a dozen mobile products globally, which boast over one billion monthly users.

TikTok has only been available in the UK since 2017Credit: Getty Images - Getty

When did TikTok merge with Musical.ly?

TikTok launched in 2017 for Apple and Android products in most markets outside of mainland China.

But it only became available worldwide when it merged with fellow Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, in 2018.

Musical.ly was launched in 2014, and allows users to create and share short lip-sync videos.

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In May 2017, Musical.ly had reached over 200 million users.

ByteDance bought Musical.ly on November 9, 2017, for a reported $1billion.

The firm merged the app into TikTok on August 2, 2018. At the same time, Musical.ly Inc. changed its name to TikTok Inc.

Did Zhang Yiming step down as Chairman to ByteDance?

Yiming, founder of ByteDance, officially stepped down from his role as chairman of the Chinese technology giant on November 3, 2021, according to Reuters.

The leadership handover had been in the works since May.

Chairmanship was handed over to Liang Rubo, 38, one of the co-founders of the company.

Liang was a former roommate of Yiming and is highly trusted as the new CEO.

Liang now inherits a company under regulatory scrutiny by authorities in China, the U.S. and Europe. ByteDance is under investigation for its impact on teenage users, data security and privacy.

Yiming resigned as chairman in order to focus on long-term strategy for the company in the midst of regulatory pressures, according to Wall Street Journal.

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