English, Fake News

A video of a Chinese motivational speaker is being falsely shared as the founder of TikTok Zhang Yiming.


A video of a double amputee walking with the support of wooden blocks in his hands onto a stage and addressing a huge gathering is being shared on social media, claiming that the person in the video is the founder and chairman of the video-sharing platform TikTok. Let’s verify this claim through this article.

Claim: The person featured in this video is the founder of TikTok.

Fact: The man seen in the viral video is a Chinese motivational speaker named Chen Zhou. Chen lost both his legs in an accident when he was 13. He is not the founder of TikTok. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.

To check the veracity of the viral claim, we first made a keyword search on the internet, leading us to a feature profile of the man featured in the viral video published by the South China Morning Post.

The person featured in the viral video is a motivational speaker from China named Chen Zho, who ‘ lost both legs in a train accident and has been dubbed the ‘legless warrior’, and giving public talks raising awareness about disabilities.

Furthermore, through a keyword search on the internet, we found many videos of Chen attending various events, which you can see here, here, and here.

The founder of TikTok is Zhang Yiming; he founded ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok.  He is not a double amputee (here, here, and here).

To sum up, the viral post misidentifies a Chinese motivational speaker as the founder of TikTok Zhang Yiming.


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