Tencent Music President, CTO, and Director Zhenyu Xie Abruptly Resigns ‘For Personal Reasons’

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The Tencent Binhai Mansion in Shenzhen. Photo Credit: Donald Wu

Tencent Music (NYSE: TME) has announced the abrupt resignation of president, CTO, and director Zhenyu Xie.

The Shenzhen-headquartered streaming company, which operates the QQ, Kuwo, Kugou, and WeSing platforms, just recently revealed the imminent departure of Zhenyu Xie. The founder of Kugou, Xie is said to be exiting “for personal reasons.”

It’s unclear exactly what these personal reasons are; Tencent Music reported solid Q4 2023 financials, including a 20.6 percent year-over-year jump in subscribers but a 7.2 percent revenue decrease.

Moreover, Xie didn’t provide a statement for Universal Music-licensed Tencent Music’s release and hadn’t commented publicly on the subject at the time of this writing. In any event, the longtime exec’s final day with Tencent Music is scheduled for this coming Sunday, March 31st. After that, the individual is expected to “serve as a consultant,” the company relayed.

Notwithstanding this relative lack of concrete information, the business did communicate in straightforward terms that CFO Min Hu will take Xie’s place on the board on the 31st.

Moreover, Tencent Music executive chairman Cussion Pang in a non-committal statement thanked Xie, who spent a decade on the board, for his contributions.

“On behalf of the Board and the Company, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Xie for his remarkable service at TME as well as his dedication to the innovation and growth of the digital music industry,” Pang communicated in part. “Zhenyu has played a vital role in leading our teams to significant breakthroughs, which has greatly enhanced TME’s product appeal and user experience. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in all future pursuits.”

Bigger picture, Tencent, its NetEase rival, and others yet are continuing to grapple with regulatory scrutiny from the Chinese government while simultaneously benefiting from the nation’s quick-expanding music industry.

According to the IFPI, that industry grew by a whopping 25.9 percent during 2023, when China remained the fifth-largest recorded music market in the world. Factoring based on the current exchange rate, Tencent Music reported close to $200 million in Q4 2023 profit (up 16.9 percent from Q4 2022) on $955.52 million in revenue.

For the entirety of 2023, NetEase Cloud Music, despite boasting a comparatively modest 44.1 million paid users as of Q4 – Tencent Music identified 106.7 million paid online music users for last year’s final quarter – posted a 12.5 percent revenue decrease, to $1.1 billion total.

Nevertheless, NetEase Cloud Music flipped to profitable during 2023, the appropriate report shows, with a net profit of approximately $113.51 million.