ByteDance launches digital economy school in hometown of founder Zhang Yiming
- The ByteDance School of Digital Economy Industry was established last week under a local vocational college in Longyan, Fujian province
- While founder Zhang Yiming was known to have ambitions in the education business, ByteDance had to withdraw from the sector in 2021
The ByteDance School of Digital Economy Industry was established last week under the Minxi Vocational and Technical College, a local institution, according to a statement from the provincial education department.
The school aims to train “high-calibre talent” needed for developing the local digital economy, and create start-up teams, the department said.
ByteDance declined to comment further.
Zhang, 39, who founded ByteDance a decade ago in Beijing and developed TikTok into one of the world’s most popular social media apps, was born and raised in Longyan, although the billionaire did not attend the new school’s launching ceremony in person.
Zhang stepped down as ByteDance’s chief executive that year, passing the role to his university roommate and co-founder Liang Rubo.
Zhang is among several Chinese tech executives who have retreated from the public eye and ramped up their philanthropic efforts.
The Chinese government remains wary of the influence of Big Tech companies and their founders, particularly in areas such as education, where Beijing eyes the involvement of private or foreign capital with suspicion.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.