How Zhihu’s become one of China’s biggest hubs for experts – gpgmail


Zhihu may not be as well known outside of China as WeChat or ByteDance’s Douyin, but over the past eight years, it has cultivated a reputation for being one of the country’s most trustworthy social media platforms. Originally launched as a question-and-answer site similar to Quora, Zhihu has grown to be a central hub for professional knowledge, allowing users to interact with experts and companies in a wide range of industries.

Headquartered in Beijing, Zhihu recently raised a $434 million Series F, its biggest round since 2011. The funding also brought Zhihu two important new partners: video and live-streaming app Beijing Kuaishou, which led the round, and Baidu, owner of China’s largest search engine (other participants in the round included Tencent and CapitalToday).

Launched in 2011, Zhihu (the name means “do you know”) is most frequently compared to Quora and Yahoo Answers. While it resembled those Q&A platforms at first, it has grown in scope. Now it would be more accurate to say that the platform is like a combination of Quora, LinkedIn and Medium’s subscription program.

For example, Zhihu has an invitation-only blogging platform for verified experts and since launching official accounts, it has become a channel for companies and organizations to communicate with users. A representative for Zhihu told gpgmail that the platform had 220 million users and 30,000 official accounts as of January 2019 (for context, there are currently about 800 million Internet users in China), who have posted a total of 130 million answers so far.

The company’s growth will be closely watched since Zhihu is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering. Last November, the company hired its first chief financial officer, Sun Wei, heightening speculation. A representative for the company told gpgmail the position was created because of Zhihu’s business development needs and that there is currently no timeline for a public listing.

At the same time, the company has also dealt with reports that its growth has slowed.


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WeChat Pay and Alipay partner QFPay raises $20 million to develop new digital payment solutions – gpgmail


Digital payments startup QFPay announced today that it has raised $20 million in new funding led by returning investors Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners. MDI Ventures, the investment arm of state-owned Indonesian telecom Telkom Indonesia, Rakuten Capital and VentureSouq also participated as new strategic investors.

According to Crunchbase, this brings QFPay’s total raised so far to $36.5 million. The funding will be used to develop new digital payment products.

QFPay is the largest global partner of WeChat Pay and Alipay, enabling them to process payments to merchants around the world. Founded in 2012, QFPay first launched in China and is known for its QR code-based technology. Its products include end-to-end online and offline mobile payment solutions and add-on services like food ordering and customer loyalty programs. The company claims that it has served over 1.2 million merchants and processed over 1 billion transactions.

QFPay is currently present in 13 markets: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, co-founder and CEO Tim Lee said “We have built our track record, know-how and expertise in this industry since we launched in China, which is dubbed as the birthplace of digital payment. We are excited to leverage what we have learned in the past seven years to help lead the cashless movement in the rest of Asia as demand for digital payment, particularly QR-code payment method, heats up.”


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