Facebook’s Shant Oknayan joins TikTok parent company ByteDance

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has appointed Shant Oknayan as general manager of global business solutions across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT). (Supplied)
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Updated 17 June 2020

Facebook’s Shant Oknayan joins TikTok parent company ByteDance

  • Oknayan has nearly 20 years’ experience leading business development and digital transformation strategies
  • He previously held a number of positions at Google in the region

DUBAI: TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has appointed Shant Oknayan as general manager of global business solutions across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT).
In his new role, he will work closely with ByteDance’s clients and partners while leading the business, sales and marketing strategies across all of its products in the region.
Oknayan has nearly 20 years’ experience leading business development and digital transformation strategies for both government and private entities.
In his previous role as group director at Facebook MENA, he drove commercial partnerships across a broad number of categories including fast-moving consumer goods, retail and e-commerce.
He previously held a number of positions at Google in the region, including small and medium business market development, and head of strategy and operations.
Oknayan also brings an entrepreneurial mindset to ByteDance. In 2012, he co-founded GlamBox, the first subscription-based beauty e-commerce platform in the region, which was acquired in 2017 after multiple rounds of successful fundraising.
Commenting on his new role, he said: “I am truly excited to join ByteDance, which is one of the fastest-growing global technology companies, spearheading innovation in the mobile space. In the MENAT region, ByteDance — with its short-video platform TikTok — has truly disrupted the way people create and interact with content, inspiring creativity and bringing joy to the community. I look forward to bringing that engagement and excitement to the forefront of our clients’ business and marketing strategies, working closely with my colleagues and partners to create new synergies in the industry.”


Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

Updated 20 October 2020

Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

  • Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation
  • Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.
Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading “false information,” digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.
Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.
Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.
“We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently,” he said.
Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation.
Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.
Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.
The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.
Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.
A lawyer for two of them, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.
Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.
His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth’s supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta.