Sunday, February 25, 2024
Sunday, February 25, 2024

HomeFact CheckVideo Of Chinese Motivational Speaker Falsely Shared As TikTok Founder

Video Of Chinese Motivational Speaker Falsely Shared As TikTok Founder

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Video showing the Founder & Chairman of TikTok, who is a double amputee.

Fact
The man seen in the viral video does not show the TikTok chairperson, but Chinese motivational speaker Chen Zhou.

A 1.23-minute video showing a double amputee, using mobility equipment to climb onto a stage, and address a large audience, is going viral on social media claiming to show the “Founder & Chairman of Tik-Tok”. The post can be seen here. | Archived Post

Many other X users shared similar posts which can be seen here, here, and here.

We received a request to verify the authenticity of this date on our tipline at +919999499044.

Fact Check/Verification

To begin with, we conducted a Google Keyword Search with “Founder & Chairman of Tik-Tok”, which led us to reports published by Forbs. According to this report, Zhang Yiming is the founder of Chinese tech giant ByteDance, best known for its insanely popular app TikTok, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide. The report also carried Zhang Yiming’s photo, which doesn’t match the man seen in the viral video.

We then checked the official website of ByteDance which revealed that the current chairman of the board is Rubo Liang.

Now, we took some screengrabs of the viral video and conducted a Google reverse image search, which took us to a report published by South China Morning Post on June 3, 2023. As per the report, titled ‘Legless warrior – from homeless child who lost legs in accident to disability advocate with a Passion to climb mountains’  the person in the video is Chen Zhou, who lost both legs in a train accident as a kid and has been dubbed “legless warrior” on Chinese social media for public talks raising awareness about disabilities.

Taking cue, we conducted another keyword search with “Legless Warrior from China”, which led us to several reports, where Chen Zhou has been featured. Some of those can be seen here, here and here.

Conclusion

Thus, the person in the viral video is a Chinese motivational speaker, not the founder of TikTok. The viral video is false.

Result: False

Our Sources:
1. Report published by Forbes.
2. Website data of ByteDance
3. Report published by South China Morning Post.


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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