“I will join ByteDance as the CFO so that I can be based in my hometown Singapore 18 years after I left,” said Chew, who served as CFO for Xiaomi between 2015 and 2020, leading the company through a successful initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock exchange in 2018.
He resigned from his position as Xiaomi’s CFO in April 2020 but has remained as executive director at the company until now, according to Xiaomi’s fourth-quarter earnings release on Wednesday.
ByteDance’s appointment of Chew as CFO will prompt a new round of speculation about the Beijing-based tech giant’s IPO timetable, as its rival Kuaishou completed its USD 5.3 billion IPO in Hong Kong last month.
Zhang Yiming, ByteDance’s founder and global CEO, said in an interview with Reuters in May 2020 that the company does not have any imminent IPO plans.
However, ByteDance is embarking on capital-intensive expansions into sectors like gaming, education, on-demand services, and even chip-making, all of which may nudge the firm to consider tapping capital markets.
The company is also exploring the possibility of listing its individual businesses, like TikTok’s domestic twin Douyin and hit news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, in Shanghai or Hong Kong.