The 40-year-old Chinese entrepreneur spent most of last year overseas, based mostly out of Singapore, technology news outlet The Information reported in September. TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi is also based in the Southeast Asian country.
Few people know of Zhang’s whereabouts and itinerary on any given day.
The government statement used an old picture of Zhang dated two years ago.
Zhang has a net worth of US$42.3 billion, according to the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
ByteDance, currently helmed by co-founder and Zhang’s university roommate Liang Rubo, still sees robust growth while battling mounting political pressure in the West.
ByteDance’s flagship product TikTok, however, faces increasing political troubles in the US, where it has more than 100 million users.
In April, Montana became the first US state to pass legislation that would make it illegal to offer TikTok for download, to protect the personal data of citizens from “being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party”.
The Biden administration in February asked all federal agencies to remove the app from government devices over data privacy concerns. More than 30 state governments have taken similar measures.
In March, an investment by Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence firm G42 valued ByteDance at around US$220 billion, according to a Bloomberg News report, down from a peak valuation of US$400 billion in 2021.
The news is published by EMEA Tribune & SCMP