Charles Zhang (Zhang Chaoyang), male, Han nationality, is a native of Xi'an Shaanxi Province. He was born in 1964 and graduated from Tsinghua University in 1986, majoring in physics. Zhang received the Tsung-Dao Lee Scholarship and traveled to the United States for studies in 1986; he then received a doctorate's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993.
After receiving his doctorate's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Zhang became their Asia-Pacific region liaison officer. He returned to China in 1995 and served as the chief representative of ISI. The following year, in 1996, he established the company ITC with two MIT professors. ITC was China's first Internet company funded with risk capital.
In 1998, he led ITC in developing Sohu.com. Listed on the United State stock market in 2000, Sohu.com provided corporate services such as on-line advertisement, website design, and technical assistance. Sohu.com also allowed its customers to shop on-line and send text messages from their mobile phones. The company is regarded as having one of the best-known brands in the Chinese Internet world.
For his participation with the Internet and information technology issues, Zhang has received numerous honors. He was named by Time Weekly as one of the Time Digital Cyber Elite Top 50 in 1998, listed by China Youth Daily as one of the Top Ten Information Technology Men of the Year from 1999 to 2001, and selected by Asia Week as a cover figure in 1997. Fortune Magazine named him one of the top 25 new corporate stars in 2001.