Beijing startup ByteDance philosophy-

Beijing startup ByteDance philosophy- "Unlimited salary for unlimited talent"

Posted by Vivek Nama on September 26th 2017

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., a startup founded by an entrepreneur named Zhang Yiming is turning controversial because of its recruiting philosophy. It is hiring top performers from biggies like Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., by raising salaries upto 50 % , giving stock options for which Zhang is totally unapologetic about.

The company has a news service mobile app called ‘Jinri Toutiao’, or Today's Headlines, which aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets with 120 million daily users.
"Our philosophy is to pay the top of the market to get the best," says the 34-year-old in an interview to Bloomberg, "The Company that wants to achieve the most, you need the best talent. Unlimited salary for unlimited talent," he says.
Top performers can make $1 million in salary and bonus a year, plus options, according to people familiar with its hiring. Total compensation can exceed $3 million!

One reason why Zhang is recruiting so aggressively is that he has ambitious plans to expand, with a dozen new apps in the works. One is a version of Toutiao for English speakers aimed at giving Americans a taste of the China phenomenon.
Unlike virtually every other startup in China, it hasn't forged an alliance with one of the big three internet companies, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Now all three of the giants are refining their own news apps to steal business from Toutiao.
Zhang also helped found four companies, including China’s first Twitter-clone and a real estate site, In between, he had a brief stint at a big company -- the Chinese office of Microsoft Corp.,but quickly left out of boredom.
He got the idea for Toutiao from the changing habits of Chinese commuters. He was used to seeing people outside subway stations selling newspapers, but then in a matter of months they disappeared. He realized people were reading on mobile phones. At the same time, he knew machine learning and artificial intelligence were evolving. Zhang developed the app in 2012 and introduced it in August of that year which caught on quickly.
Zhang isn’t backing off his aggressive plans, despite the controversies over pay and business practices. 
Asked about one competitor's concern that Toutiao is trying to hire 200 AI engineers, a huge number given the limited pool of talent, Zhang says that's not quite right: "It may be more than 200.”


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