Tencent QQ (Chinese: 腾讯QQ), also known as QQ, is an instant messaging software service developed by the Chinese tech giant Tencent.
QQ is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, but chances are that you've never come across it. What is QQ, and why is it so unknown outside of its home country of China, despite its huge size? And what do brands who are considering marketing on QQ need to know about it?
WeChat only this year became China’s most popular social media channel. That dethroned champion is QQ, which is probably the biggest social media network you have never heard of. QQ is so huge, it set a Guinness world record for having the largest number of users online at the same time.
QQ’s story is inspiring and ultimately tragic — as far as tragedy goes in the world of apps. It’s also one that every marketer hoping to understand the Chinese social media environment should know.
As China’s first hugely popular messaging service, QQ shaped the development of both China’s web and mobile web. Despite being launched all the way back in 1999 (5 years before Facebook), QQ has survived the trials of time. It has also survived a sustained effort by its own founders to destroy it.
Today, QQ still has some 850 million active monthly users – more than double the number Twitter claims. In other ways, however, it is only a shadow of its former self.
QQ was the first product released by the company Tencent, which is now one of the largest internet companies in the world. Tencent’s founder, Ma Huateng, known as “Pony Ma”, received startup capital from powerful billionaire Li Ka-shing through a hometown connection between the men.