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Zhihu Inc.
Type of businessPublic
Type of site
Knowledge markets, Q&A software
Available inChinese
Traded as
HeadquartersBeijing, China
Area servedWorldwide
  • Zhou Yuan (周源)
  • Li Shenshen (李申申)[1]
  • Huang Jixin (黄继新)[2]
Key peopleZhou Yuan (CEO)
  • Increase CN¥3.60 billion (US$523 million, 2022)
  • Increase CN¥2.96 billion (2021)
  • Increase CN¥1.35 billion (2020)
LaunchedJanuary 2011
Current statusActive
Literal meaningDo you know

Zhihu (Chinese: 知乎; pinyin: Zhīhū) is a Quora-type question and answer site and news aggregator.[4][5] Originally based in Chengdu and with creators from Sichuan, China, the website launched on January 26, 2011. The number of registered users on Zhihu exceeded 10 million by the end of 2013,[6] and reached 17 million as of May 2015,[7] with 250 million monthly page views.[2] By the end of 2018, the number of registered users of Zhihu exceeded 220 million and the website accumulated more than 30 million questions and 130 million answers.


Zhihu IPO day on NYSE

Zhihu began development in August 2010. It went through a closed beta test at the end of December 2010.[7] The final product went online on January 26, 2011.[8][9] It has reportedly received funding from Kai-Fu Lee's Innovation Works, Qiming Ventures,[10] SAIF Partners, Tencent, and Sogou.[11]

In October 2011, Zhihu completed its A-round of funding for 7 million USD from Innovation Works and Qiming Ventures.[8]

In 2015, Zhihu completed its C-round of funding for 55 million USD.[11]

In 2017, Zhihu officially commercialized. In August 2018, Zhihu completed its E-round of funding, raising 270 million USD for a total company valuation at 2.5 billion USD. On August 12, 2019, Zhihu completed a subsequent F-round of funding led by Chinese short video platform Kuaishou and technology company Baidu, garnering 450 million USD. As a result, Baidu mobile app searches would directly return Zhihu content.[12]

In December 2021, ten of Zhihu's shareholders, including Sogou and Tencent's investment arm, sold all of their stakes (78% ownership) in Beijing Zhizhe Tianxia Technology, the parent company of Zhihu. All shares were transferred to the founder and CEO, Zhou Yuan (Chinese: 周源; pinyin: Zhōu Yuán), who owned more than 99% of the company thereafter. This occurred three days after regulatory pressures from the Beijing branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), during which Zhihu was instructed to rectify practices that had led to unlawful release of information.[13][14]

Zhihu's initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange came on March 26, 2021.[15] Zhihu started trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on April 11, 2022.[16]

Product operation[edit]

Zhihu functions similarly to Quora, where users may submit questions and answers, as well as upvote the best answer.[4] Zhihu also features expert panels and daily and weekly newsletters.[8]

Initially, user registration was primarily invitation-only, with referrals needed from a couple hundred registered users. Otherwise, new users had to apply to join by filling in a large amount of personal information and waiting for a reply.[17] Zhihu sought to host professional questions and answers, and then over time attract a more general community.[18]

Zhihu started open registration in March 2013. Registered users are able to ask questions and invite specific users to answer. Each user is able to check their 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.


The company generates revenue through marketing services, paid membership, and vocational training.[19]

Revenue Segment Revenue in Q3 2023 (in million RMB) YoY Growth Rate
Marketing Services 383.0 -17.1%
Paid Membership 466.8 +39.2%
Vocational Training 144.8 +85.6%
Other Revenues 27.6 -24.0%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 周源 (March 14, 2011). "知乎有哪些员工?" [Who are the employees at Zhihu?]. Zhihu (in Chinese). Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  2. ^ a b 高海英, ed. (May 14, 2015). "知乎:用知识串联世界". 新华网新闻 (in Chinese). XINHUANET.com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  3. ^ "ZHIHU 2022 Annual Report" (PDF). Zhihu. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  4. ^ a b Wong, Sue-lin (January 16, 2014). "In China, A New Space for New Questions". Tea Leaf Nation. Tea Leaf Nation, LLC. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  5. ^ "Investor Home - Company Profile". Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  6. ^ Zhu, Xudong (July 13, 2013). "知乎月活跃用户突破1000万 进入快速增长轨道" [Zhihu has over 10 million monthly active users]. 腾讯科技 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  7. ^ a b 财视传媒 (May 6, 2015). "知乎创始人周源:我也曾是正宗程序猿" [Zhou Yuan, founder of Zhihu: I was once an authentic programmer too]. Sohu (in Chinese (China)). Sohu.com Inc. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Bischoff, Paul (June 9, 2014). Horwitz, Josh (ed.). "A look inside Zhihu, China's answer to Quora". Tech In Asia. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  9. ^ 乐天 (March 28, 2011). skylei (ed.). 李开复爆料创新工场已投资问答社区网站知乎. 腾讯科技 (in Chinese). Tencent. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "IN KEY INDUSTRIES". Qiming Venture Partners (in Chinese). Qiming. Archived from the original on September 1, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  11. ^ a b 余一 (November 5, 2015). chunwzhang (ed.). "知乎确认已完成5500万美金融资 腾讯领投" [Zhihu confirms it has closed $55 million in funding led by Tencent]. 腾讯科技. Tencent. Archived from the original on August 19, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  12. ^ Lee, David (August 12, 2019). "Zhihu Completes Largest Funding Round Ever of $450 Million". Pandaily. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Li, Jiaxing (December 23, 2021). "Investors offload stakes in Zhihu after regulator issues directive to 'rectify' business". KrASIA. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Yang, Yingzhi; Woo, Ryan (December 20, 2021). "China summons Quora-like Zhihu for unlawful release of information". cna. Mediacorp. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  15. ^ PRNewswire (March 26, 2021). "Zhihu Inc. Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering". Zhihu InvestorRoom. Zhihu Inc. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  16. ^ PRNewswire (April 8, 2022). "Zhihu Inc. Launches Global Offering". Zhihu InvestorRoom. Zhihu Inc. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  17. ^ Hu, Wei (May 27, 2011). "提交 "加入知乎申请" 后多久才能获得邀请". Zhihu. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  18. ^ "内容社区:始于内容,火于流量,困于商业化" [Content Communities: Starting with Content, Fueled by Traffic, Struggling with Commercialization]. 36Kr (in Chinese). January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  19. ^ "Zhihu Inc. Reports Unaudited Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results" (PDF). Zhihu Investor Relations. November 29, 2023. Retrieved January 2, 2024.

External links[edit]