Kevin Chen Xi, previously the executive president of Didi’s ridesharing unit, recently joined ByteDance, taking charge of the short-video product Douyin Huoshan, a lite version of Douyin and formerly known as Huoshan Video, Chinese tech media outlet 36Kr reported on Monday.
Chen, a Peking University and Harvard grad, worked for McKinsey and KKR before moving to ride-hailing giant Didi in 2016, his Linkedin page shows. During his time at Didi, Chen worked as strategy director, then took on the role as general manager of Xiaoju Automobile Solutions, Didi’s auto solutions platform, head of “user team”, and head of the ridesharing business.
He left Didi in October due to personal reasons, according to an internal email. Sun Shu, the general manager of Didi’s budget ride-hailing service Huaxiaozhu is taking over Chen Xi’s job, reporting to the ridesharing company’s CEO Fu Qiang, while also reporting to Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei. Didi vice president Zhuo Yue will be responsible for the user team, reporting to president June Liu Qing.
Huoshan Video was launched in 2016, targeting more lower-tier cities, similar to Kuaishou. In January, ByteDance rebranded the product to “Douyin Huoshan version” to link it more closely with the flagship app Douyin, providing more support. Chen will report to Douyin CEO Zhang Nan, according to the 36Kr report.
As of August, Douyin and Douyin Huoshan had 600 million daily active users (DAUs). Douyin rival Kuaishou had 302 million DAUs by the end of June.
In September, Song Jian, the head of ByteDance’s Xigua Video reportedly joined Baidu, taking over the search giant’s Haokan Video and reporting to VP Shen Dou.
ByteDance is reportedly considering public listings for some of its businesses including Douyin, Jinri Toutiao, and Xigua Video, as independent entities in Hong Kong.