The synthesis of heterostructured core-shell nanocrystals has attracted significant attention due to their wide range of applications in energy, medicine and environment. To further extend the possible nanostructures, non-epitaxial growth is introduced to form heterostructures with large lattice mismatches, which cannot be achieved by classical epitaxial growth techniques. Here, we report the synthetic procedure of Au@ZnTe core-shell nanostructures by cation exchange reaction for the first time. For that, bimetallic Au@Ag heterostructures were synthesized by using PDDA as stabilizer and shape-controller. Then, by addition of Te and Zn precursors in a step-wise reaction, the zinc and silver cation exchange was performed and Au@ZnTe nanocrystals were obtained. Structural and optical characterization confirmed the formation of the Au@ZnTe nanocrystals. The optimization of the synthesis led to the bright nanocrystals with a photoluminescence quantum yield up to 27%. The non-toxic, versatile synthetic route, and bright emission of the synthesized Au@ZnTe nanocrystals offer significant potential for future bio-imaging and optoelectronic applications.