Zhou Yahui

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Zhou Yahui
Native name
周亚辉
BornFebruary 1977 (age 42)
Yunnan, China
ResidenceBeijing
NationalityChina
EducationTsinghua University
OccupationChairman and CEO of Kalends Inc.[citation needed]

Chairman and CEO of Beijing Kunlun Technology Co., Ltd. Chairman and CEO of New Grindr LLC

Chairman and CEO of Opera Software[1]
Known forFounder of Kalends Inc. and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Inc.
Net worthUS$2.2 billion (August 2016)[2]
Spouse(s)Li Qiong (divorced)

Zhou Yahui (Chinese: 周亚辉; born February 1977) is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur. He is the chairman and CEO of the technology company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. His estimated net worth is $2.2 billion.[3]

Early life[edit]

Zhou was born in February 1977 in Yunnan, China.[4] In 1999 he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in optical engineering in 2006, both from Tsinghua University in Beijing.[5]

Career[edit]

Zhou's career started in 1999 when he started a website called "Vulcan Net" funded by Tsinghua University. Vulcan Net was a website dedicating for uploading animations made by people in the local area, especially students in the university. Zhou and Tsinghua University closed Vulcan Net sometime in 2004 due to unprofitability.[6]

Zhou became an executive manager for the Social networking service Renren in November 2004. In March 2007 he stopped working for Renren when he became the general manager of Beijing JiNaiTe Technology Co., Ltd. Zhou worked for JiNaiTe Tech for one year until he founded his own company, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. as Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. An official name change was done to the preceding on March 2011.[5] Zhou is the main owner of the aforementioned company with 30% of shares.[7]

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. focuses on the distribution and sale of video games in China, through their GameArk application. Beijing Kunlun finalized their purchase of a 60% stake in the gay dating app Grindr in January 2016.[8] Later in February in the same year a consortium of investors including Beijing Kunlun acquired Opera Software with Beijing Kunlun acquiring 48%, effectively granting ownership to Beijing Kunlun (Zhou Yahui) by majority.[9]

In March of 2019, Beijing Kunlun was forced to sell Grindr by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS viewed Beijing Kunlun's ownership of Grindr as a national security threat as Grindr has sensitive personal info such as, location, messages and even HIV status which could be accessed by engineers in the Kunlun office in Beijing.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Zhou was married to Li Qiong, his elementary school classmate. They divorced in September 2016. Li Qiong received $1.1 billion worth in Beijing Kunlun Tech shares, making it one of the most expensive divorce settlements in China.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zhou Yahui". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Zhou Yahui". Forbes. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Zhou Yahui". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  4. ^ Wang, Yue. "Beyond Playing Games: How Zhou Yahui Bought Grindr And Opera For His Internet Ambition". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  5. ^ a b "Yahui Zhou". Opera Limited. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  6. ^ "Yahui Zhou". Wealth-X. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  7. ^ Lohne, Aftenpostens Korrespondent Jørgen. "Kina-milliardær: Mitt norske selskap skal bli Afrikas svar på Amazon og Alibaba". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  8. ^ "China's Kunlun completes full buyout of Grindr". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  9. ^ "Chinese $1.2 billion takeover of Norway's Opera failed over U.S..." Reuters. 2016-07-18. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  10. ^ "Exclusive: Behind Grindr's doomed hookup in China, a data misstep..." Reuters. 2019-05-22. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  11. ^ "Beijing Kunlun Wanwei Technology Co., Ltd. Detailed Equity Change Report" (PDF). Cninfo.com.cn. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2019.