FACT CHECK: Facebook Video Does Not Show TikTok Founder

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports to show TikTok founder and chairman Zhang Yiming riding a scooter and missing both legs.

Verdict: False

The video shows Chinese motivational speaker Chen Zhou, not Yiming. Yiming founded TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and stepped down as its CEO in 2021, according to Business Insider.

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“Founder & Chairman of Tik-Tok [sic]. Nothing is Impossible,” the Facebook video’s caption purports. In the video, viewed over 300 times, an Asian man who is missing both legs can be seen riding around on a scooter.

The video does not show TikTok founder, Yiming, but rather Chinese motivational speaker Zhou. According to Ability Magazine, Zhou has used two six-pound wooden boxes as legs since he was 13. While the magazine did not specifically indicate how Zhou lost his legs, it noted Zhou was involved in a “tragic accident.” In addition, the magazine noted Zhou went from being a street singer to a public speaker and once gave a speech to a crowd of almost 40,000 people in Shan Dong Stadium.

Articles about Zhou and his journey have also been published in China Daily and the Daily Mail. Both outlets highlighted an instance where Zhou climbed Lao Mountain with 11-year-old Gao Zhiyu, a fellow double amputee. (RELATED: No, Starbucks Has Not Rebranded Into ‘Vista Coffee’)

In addition, Zhou gave a 16-minute TED Talk titled “The Meaningful Life Without Legs” back in 2014.

Likewise, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports suggesting the Facebook video showed Yiming. In fact, the opposite is true. India Today and The Quint both published articles labeling the claim as false. TikTok has not publicly commented on the claim, either.

Furthermore, Yiming is actually the founder of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and stepped down as its CEO in 2021, according to Business Insider.

Check Your Fact has contacted TikTok for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter