Zhihu is a Chinese question-and-answer website where all kinds of questions are created, answered, edited and organized by the community of its users. Its website, zhihu.com, was launched on January 26, 2011. The number of registered users of Zhihu had exceeded 10 million by the end of 2013, and reached 17 million as of May 2015 with 250 million monthly page views.
|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Knowledge markets, Q&A software|
|Key people||Zhou Yuan (CEO)|
|Net income||web ads, e-books, paid questioning to certain experts/celebrities|
|Alexa rank||124 (Global) 30 (China) (September 2016[update])|
|Literal meaning||Do you know?|
Starting from August 2010, Zhihu was under development (originally under the name "Azid"). It went through a closed beta test at the end of December 2010. The final product went on line on January 26, 2011. It has reportedly received funding from Kai-Fu Lee's Innovation Works, Qiming Ventures, SAIF Partners, Tencent and Sogou.
In the beginning, user registration was mostly invitation-only, with referral needed from a couple of hundred registered users. Otherwise new users had to apply to join, by filling a good amount of personal information and waiting for a reply. This strategy at Zhihu's early stage insured the high quality of questions, as well as hosting professional questions and answers, which attracted additional users to the community.
Zhihu started open registration in March 2013, which increased the numbers of users from 400,000 to 4,000,000 in less than one year. Registered users are able to ask questions in the community while inviting specific users to answer. Each user is able to check his/her Zhihu followers' updates (Likes, Answers, Following questions). On the home page, users are able to check the status of their own questions, as well as the activities around their answers and comments.
Zhihu is highly interactive with best responses upvoted by others. It features high-profile Chinese entrepreneurs and public intellectuals among its users, increasingly providing Chinese netizens with a space for a rich discussion.
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