Do you know QQ?


How international is your mobile communication?
Earlier this year, I learned that preferred means of communicating among Chinese is via QQ, an instant messenger service.  I was asked to sign up for QQ (  to communicate with a Chinese author who lived in Singapore. “What? You don’t know QQ? In China, everyone uses QQ. You can send photos, images while talking. You must sign up if you want to talk to me,” she said. It was reminiscent of the time I had to sign up for Skype because people I knew in India preferred to communicate via Skype.

How difficult could QQ be? I already had Skype and KakaoTalk and their sign up was relatively painless with clear directions.

Signing up and using QQ ( was a bit more challenging to do when you do not know how to read Chinese, even though they have an English sign up page. After you sign up using your e-mail, the company assigns you a QQ ID which you are e-mailed. And I learned that that is an important number for you to keep. You will be asked to enter the QQ ID for a mobile communication tools such as an APP. With help of Google translate; I managed to install the downloaded program on my computer and on the phone. For iPhone or iPad, you have to go to the APP store and search for QQ to download. The APP is also available for Android phones.

So I was “dragged” into use QQ by those who insisted that I use it. So it is my latest communication tool in addition to “KaTalk,” as Korean say it. And I got on Skype, thanks to my Indian colleagues  years ago.

As of this writings:

QQ (750 million monthly users)
Skype (250 million monthly users)
KakaoTalk (50 million accounts)

Today, it is all about Mobile. Having phones at finger tips mean users prefer a quick SMS tools over e-mails.

Here is the Wall Street Journal article on the growth of Tencent Holdings whose QQ messenger service is the foundation for games, e-commerce and other services.

Some evenings, I may be on QQ and Skype at the same time.  It can be challenging to communicate with people in Asia, 10 to 13 hours ahead and in Europe, 6 hours ahead.

While I am accessible via KaTalk, QQ,  and Skype, being global has its downside. It sure is getting harder to have a quiet thinking time.

One thought on “Do you know QQ?

  1. I also signed up for QQ at the urging of Chinese friends and colleagues, but had lots of trouble with logins, several rounds of customer service before abandoning it. It does seem better than MSN, faster for file transfers, and will probably try again someday, but for now don’t use it.

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