2020 has been a crazy year, especially for those of us doing business in and with China. The current US administration has continued to make unproven allegations against Chinese technology companies, which are increasingly competing successfully in overseas markets.

It can be a violent storm to weather, though certainly not an unfamiliar one to me, having worked with Huawei Technologies for over four years. However, while governments using the specter of national security to threaten private companies without just cause is a very important topic, it’s not the one I’d like to talk to you about today.

TikTok, the prominent Chinese social media platform from Bytedance, seems to have become one of the more prominent among these successful companies facing bans in the US market, perhaps in part due to the fact that it has found the success and broad appeal in the US market that has so far eluded other Chinese companies.

TikTok was and is facing a crisis as a direct result of its success, and a crisis needs strong leadership to navigate the resulting turbulent waters. Unfortunately, shortly after these troubles began, TikTok USA’s at the time new CEO Kevin Mayer decided to resign after only three short months with the company, further exacerbating the difficulties the company was facing.

In the below video, I discuss Kevin Mayer’s resignation and my thoughts on what responsibility senior executives have to not abandon ship in the midst of an ongoing crisis, especially foreign executives recruited chiefly to assist Chinese companies in expanding to overseas markets.



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