Kuaishou CEO is latest tech founder to step down in crackdown

(Bloomberg) – Kuaishou Technology CEO Su Hua has become the latest founder to step back from a Chinese tech company after a year-long campaign by Beijing to curb excesses in the industry.

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Su, 39, will remain chairman of Kuaishou to focus on long-term strategy and new initiatives, the short video giant said in a statement Friday evening. Co-founder Cheng Yixiao will take over as CEO to lead day-to-day operations and business development. Kuaishou shares fell 5.1% on Monday after the announcement.

The billionaire steps down as CEO just nine months after Kuaishou went public in an initial $ 5.4 billion public offering, the largest internet debut since Uber Technologies Inc. After nearly tripling in days after listing, the share is now trading below its initial public offering. price, after being beaten by increased competition with companies like ByteDance Ltd. and Bilibili Inc., as well as a crackdown from Beijing.

The scrutiny – covering everything from antitrust to extracurricular education and online entertainment – has coincided with a wave of management reshuffles at some of the biggest tech companies. The founder of social media giant ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, stepped down as CEO in May to focus on longer-term initiatives, while JD.com Inc. in September appointed a new chairman, saying the chairman Richard Liu will focus on long-term strategies. Colin Huang of Pinduoduo Inc. took it a step further, relinquishing both the CEO and President roles of the e-commerce company he created.

Su and Cheng first met in 2013 and transformed Kuaishou, which the latter had launched two years earlier as a GIF maker, into a video-sharing platform featuring content including thumbnails of the video. life in rural China. In recent years, Kuaishou has ventured beyond its home market, seeking social media success that could rival TikTok. Its Kwai and SnackVideo apps have had some success in markets like South America, Indonesia and Pakistan, but an attempt to break into the United States was scrapped earlier this year.

Read more: The Bloomberg Profile of Su Hua

Brokers including Credit Suisse and Jefferies were among those who raised Kuaishou’s target price last month ahead of its third quarter results, citing expectations of strong ad sales.

“We believe that adjusting management roles enhances organizational effectiveness,” Jefferies analysts led by Thomas Chong wrote in a research note Monday.

(Updates with stock performance in second paragraph)

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