Ep. 52: Zhihu and Kuaishou — Has China’s Quora Found Its Prince Charming?


Play episode:

TechBuzz China is going to China! As part of our inaugural invite-only TechBuzz China Investor Trip for public market investors taking place right after Golden Week, we will be hosting live meetups. These will take place in Beijing’s Sanlitun after dinner on Tuesday, October 8, and in Shanghai after dinner on Thursday, October 10. If you are in either of those cities, do come out and have a beer on us! Check our Twitter (@techbuzzchina) for updates on the exact locations and times.

Episode 52 of TechBuzz China is on a topic from back in August, when Kuaishou, Baidu, Tencent, and Capital Today invested a collective $434 million into the Q&A site Zhihu 知乎. The site, which literally means “Do you know?” in Chinese, is comparable to Quora in its core services. Its 220 million monthly active users (MAU) is also comparable with Quora’s 300 million MAU. In typical TechBuzz fashion, our co-hosts, Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu, dive into Zhihu’s founding story, the company’s business strategy over time, and further comparisons with global sites such as Quora and Reddit. They conclude by explaining why the recent partnership between Kuaishou and Zhihu makes sense.

Listen to find out: What does Chinese media believe is significant about the hometown province of Zhihu CEO Zhou Yuan 周源? Over the course of several years, how did Zhihu beat out competitors that included other startups as well as products created by the likes of Baidu? In fact, how might these past stories help to explain Baidu’s participation in Zhihu’s latest round? What is Fenda 分答, how does it relate to Zhihu’s trajectory, and what might explain why it was one of the first instances in which a Silicon Valley entrepreneur openly admitted that he found inspiration in the innovative design of a Chinese company? In what ways is Zhihu’s latest financing so notable, and what does it tell us about the current state of the internet landscape in China? How does Bytedance fit into this fray, and what has been the extent of its investment in the space? Finally, what do our co-hosts think about the future of the user-generated text and voice content space in China?  

You can find these stories and more at pandaily.com. If you enjoy our content, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, liking our Facebook page, and tweeting at us! We do truly appreciate your feedback and support. Thank you also to our listeners over at our partner, dealstreetasia.com.

We are grateful for our ever-talented producers, Shaw Wan and Kaiser Kuo, and for our intern, Wang Menglu.