Susan Zhang, a high-energy business executive and visionary serial entrepreneur. Susan's career has taken her to dizzying heights in Australia, China and the United Kingdom. She has inspired many young entrepreneurs with her impressive legacy through her work with Google and ByteDance (TikTok), led a venture capital firm investing across three continents. Susan effectively brings a salient combination of technical prowess and commercial acumen to Google and then ByteDance(TikTok), later on as Senior Country Development Manager at Amazon Australia and now the Product Localisation Teams Lead at Canva.
Start as a Founder
When she was studying in Australia as an International student, many fellow classmates and global friends came to her with all kinds of questions about China, language and culture. With her passion for languages and arts, she started from tutoring for mandarin assignments, to crafting her own ‘Conduct Business in China’ class for the local small business owner.
In 2011, Susan founded Dragon Translating and Interpreting Service, with trusted clients ranging from universities, international companies and government agencies. In 2016, she opened the London branch to cater for UK needs.
Tech Journey and Entrepreneurship
In 2014, Susan joined Google Sydney to manage the 'G Suite'(Gmail, Drive and Calendar) in APAC and quickly advanced to the role of Business Development Manager for Google Arts & Culture, overseeing the launch of key national projects to digitise and preserve Australia’s cultural heritage for a global audience. Promoted to Google UK as a lead creative technologist, she made an international name for herself delivering innovative data-driven solutions and global award-winning campaigns utilising advanced AI technologies.
On a fast trajectory to the highest echelons of Google, Susan surprised everyone when she resigned in 2018 to join a startup then unknown outside China. At ByteDance, she led the company’s international expansion and monetisation, guiding its meteoric rise to become the world’s most valuable startup and beat Google and Facebook at their own game. She built global strategic partnerships with government agencies, creative communities, museums and digital platforms, and championed corporate social responsibility and impact through partnerships with NGOs.
Susan’s boundless energy is matched by her determination to step outside her comfort zone to create a brighter future. She is a passionate driver for China-Australia linkage, founded her own company to forge strong China-Australia links, assisted UOW’s 2015 rebrand in the Chinese market, and was a Technology Evangelist for Australia China Millennial Project.
She is a published author, a dynamic inspirational speaker in international forums including TEDx, Vivid Sydney and the London Business School Asia Business Forum, and a valued mentor for young entrepreneurs around the world. Susan was also selected as a delegate to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in both 2014 and 2018, and in 2019 the Australia China Alumni Association named Susan the Young Australia China Alumni of the Year.