Meet Zhang Yiming, the secretive Chinese billionaire behind TikTok who made over $12 billion in 2018 and called Trump’s demands to sell the app ‘unreasonable’

Elva Mankin

ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming makes his own TikToks — and requires his senior employees to as well.
ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming makes his own TikToks — and requires his senior employees to as well.

Visual China Group via Getty Images; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

  • Zhang Yiming built a $16.2 billion fortune after founding ByteDance, the Chinese software developer behind TikTok.

  • Despite being one of the wealthiest people in China, Zhang is extremely private and little is known about his personal life.

  • TikTok is currently in negotiations to sell its US operations to Microsoft amid a threat of a ban from President Trump, sparking fierce criticism of Yiming on Chinese social media.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The widespread popularity of TikTok has not just created a new generation of social media stars, it’s also created a social media billionaire.

Zhang Yiming, the 36-year-old software engineer who founded the app’s parent company, now has a net worth of $16.2 billion, Forbes estimates. Despite being one of the

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Buy These 5 Stocks Before It’s Too Late

Elva Mankin

Earnings season is a great time to dive into stocks because there’s a certain amount of certainty that comes from all the related discussions.

This is when our expectations about the just-concluded quarter are met, exceeded or missed. It’s also when we get a somewhat clearer picture about the next quarter and at times, also the year. So jumping into stocks that have announced resounding beats and encouraging outlooks are a no-brainer.

It also pays to hang around a couple of days to see what impression brokers have come away with. And the best way that is captured is in the estimate revisions. So if management has good things to say about the company and its future and brokers come back with higher estimates, you know for sure that good things are going on.  

But since you’ve waited for the broker reports, some of the good news is likely to

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Beats Headphones Are on Huge Sale Everywhere Right Now

Elva Mankin

Photo credit: beats
Photo credit: beats

From Good Housekeeping

Just as students anticipate the new school year, Apple customers wait year-round to see if the technology brand will mark down any of its iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks to make room for newer models ahead.

Apple’s back-to-school offers for “education pricing” usually start around the beginning of the school year through the end of September, and are exclusive to only current students, teachers, faculty, and staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. You can shop the sales if you’re currently a student, or parent of a student, or a faculty/staff member at a K-12 or higher-education institution. Here are the full details of Apple’s back-to-school deals happening now:

The Best Back-to-School Offers at Apple

All offers are valid online, in-store, at Apple-authorized campus stores, and over the phone at 1-800-MY-APPLE. In addition, Apple tends to reveal the newest iPhone generation during this time,

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Biden won’t go to Milwaukee for convention; Chicago schools to start online; Florida surpasses 500,000 cases

Elva Mankin

Another pharmaceutical giant announced a vaccine deal with the U.S. on Wednesday while Joe Biden and the rest of the Democratic celebs bid adieu to Milwaukee’s political convention before the coronation train ever rolled into town.

Johnson & Johnson said it has a $1 billion agreement to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate to the U.S. government. Also Wednesday, Moderna said it expects to fully enroll 30,000 people for a trial of its vaccine candidate next month. And a day earlier, Novavax released promising results of an early trial. 

Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic National Convention suffers the same fate as Charlotte, where plans for a full-blown GOP convention have been whittled down to a few small gatherings later this month.

While the nation waits for a vaccine that could fully reopen schools and businesses, the University of Connecticut became the first top-level college program to cancel its football season.

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Aeffe Takes Action to Contrast COVID-19 Effects in First Half

Elva Mankin

MILAN – Cost containment, more efficient working capital management, more focused collections in line with market changes and the development of its online business are part of Aeffe’s Action Plan to contrast the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which dragged down earnings and revenues in the first half of the year.

The Italian fashion group reported a net loss of 10.9 million euros for the six months ended June 30, compared with a net profit of 5.1 million euros in the same period last year.

In the first half, revenues totaled 118.9 million euros, down 31.4 percent compared with 173.3 million euros last year, hurt by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at its retail and wholesale channels.

Aeffe controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Pollini brands.

Sales of the ready-to-wear division totaled 88.6 million euros, falling 33 percent, while the revenues of the footwear and

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What you need to know about the new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

Elva Mankin

Its cameras are considerably tamer too, at least by Samsung standards. Rather than go all-out as it did with the Note 20 Ultra, Samsung appears to have just transferred the Galaxy S20 Plus’s three main cameras into the Note 20. That’s especially ironic since, as of this writing, recent deals and promos temporarily made the unlocked Galaxy S20 Plus with the same cameras, a better screen, expandable storage, more RAM and a slightly larger battery quite a bit cheaper than the Note 20.

Credit where it’s due, this thing isn’t without its charms. For one, it has a slightly rounder body that I find surprisingly appealing, even as a fan of new Notes’ squarish aesthetic. The Note 20’s display is completely flat too, rather than slightly curved at the edges like the Ultra’s — that may make it less prone to accidental touches. And it still feels like a well-put-together

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There is still no proof TikTok is spying on you for China

Elva Mankin

TikTok, the app beloved by Generation Z, might get booted out of the US.
TikTok, the app beloved by Generation Z, might get booted out of the US.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

  • The Trump administration is forcing TikTok to sell off its US business by September 15 or else face a ban, accusing it of posing a privacy and national security threat because it is owned by a Chinese company.

  • The administration has explicitly claimed TikTok spies on people but has never offered public evidence.

  • Experts diving through TikTok’s code and policies say the app collects user data in a similar way to Facebook and other popular social apps.

  • Google and Facebook by comparison almost certainly hoover up more user data than TikTok through their sprawling number of apps and services — but get less US political scrutiny on privacy.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok, the video-sharing app whose meteoric rise amongst teenage users has made it a challenger to the likes

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Some questions (and answers) about the Microsoft-TikTok deal

Elva Mankin

trending newsletter banner
trending newsletter banner

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Hello and welcome to Trending, Business Insider’s weekly look at the world of tech. I’m Matt Weinberger, deputy tech editor out of our San Francisco bureau, filling in for Alexei Oreskovic while he’s on vacation. If you want to get Trending in your inbox every Wednesday, just click here.

The clock goes tick-tock for TikTok

President Donald Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
President Donald Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Hello, and welcome to Trending, the Business Insider tech newsletter. As you may have already noticed, I’m not Alexei Oreskovic, your usual host — I’m Matt Weinberger, deputy tech editor out of our San Francisco bureau, filling in for Alexei while he takes some well-deserved time off. 

In my day job, I oversee our enterprise tech coverage, which encompasses cloud computing, artificial intelligence, open source software, and productivity (shameless plug: you can read all about it on Hyperscale, my

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Mature matches, slightly different clientele

Elva Mankin

eharmony vs. EliteSingles: Mature matches, slightly different clientele
eharmony vs. EliteSingles: Mature matches, slightly different clientele

Online dating is great — it’s like window shopping for a date! — but there’s a slight shudder factor attached to the practice now that everyone and their mother (literally) has some sort of profile. The biggest advantage, obviously, is the potential to meet thousands of eligible singles who you likely wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. But whether those singles use their profile regularly or are even on it for the right reasons is another question — thus, the terrifying edge that can cause singles genuinely searching for the real thing to shy away from such a valuable tool.

When the dating pool is so deep, it’s important to narrow down your options to dating sites that are most likely to attract a very specific type of person and introduce you to people who have the same intentions that you do. Whether

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Are they any use? With Europe’s black-box coronavirus apps it’s hard to tell

Elva Mankin

By Padraic Halpin and Douglas Busvine

DUBLIN/BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe’s experiment in using technology to fight coronavirus has achieved some early successes: millions of people have downloaded smartphone tracker apps and hundreds have uploaded the results of positive COVID-19 tests.

Yet most European countries so far lack solid evidence that their apps – which identify close contacts via Bluetooth connections with nearby users – are actually alerting people who may have caught the disease before they can infect others.

The reason? Design choices made by governments and their app developers to protect people’s privacy.

In many of the 11 European territories using architecture designed by Alphabet’s Google and Apple , apps have been made to be ‘blind’ to warnings of potential exposure to COVID-19 flowing through the system.

In Switzerland, for example, the Federal Office of Public Health acknowledged that “the effectiveness of the SwissCovid App is difficult to measure

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