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TikTok rival Kuaishou becomes the latest Chinese tech firm to reshuffle its leadership

<i>Yan Cong/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>Kuaishou
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Yan Cong/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Kuaishou

By Michelle Toh, CNN Business

Kuaishou, the Chinese short video-sharing app that’s known as a popular alternative to TikTok, has replaced its CEO — the latest leadership reshuffle in Chinese tech.

The Beijing-based company announced late Friday that co-founder Su Hua was stepping down from the role, while staying on as chairman of the board.

Su’s fellow co-founder, Cheng Yixiao, was appointed chief executive, which took effect on Friday. Kuaishou said that Su would be dedicating more time going forward to its long-term strategy, while Cheng assumed responsibility of day-to-day operations.

Su’s departure is another example of how some of the country’s top C-suites have gotten a refresh amid a widening regulatory clampdown.

In September, e-commerce giant JD.com said that billionaire CEO Richard Liu would shift some of his focus to long-term strategy as the company took on a new president to help manage its daily affairs.

Earlier this year, Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, also announced that he would step down as CEO to take a less prominent role in the company.

And Pinduoduo founder Colin Huang said in March that he would resign as chairman of an upstart e-commerce company that competes with the likes of Alibaba. Huang had already left his position as CEO last summer.

Zhang and Huang said they were departing to try new things. Neither of them referred to the government crackdown in their announcements, while a ByteDance spokesperson said that Zhang’s decision to step down was not related to regulatory moves in China.

Kuaishou is one of China’s leading social media firms. The Tencent-backed company, whose name means “fast hand” in Chinese, owns an eponymous short-video and live-streaming app with about 300 million daily active users.

The company went public in an approximately $5.3 billion Hong Kong listing earlier this year, marking what was then the world’s biggest IPO since 2019.

Kuaishou shares fell nearly 4% in Hong Kong on Monday, the first trading day after the announcement.

— Laura He and Jill Disis contributed to this report.

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