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|Type of business||Public|
Type of site
|Knowledge markets, Q&A software|
|Traded as||NYSE: ZH|
|Key people||Zhou Yuan (CEO)|
|Registration||Optional/required, can write and ask anonymously|
Zhihu (NYSE: ZH) is an originally based in Chengdu, creators being from Sichuan, Mainland Chinese question-and-answer website where 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 has reached 17 million as of May 2015 with 250 million monthly page views. The number of registered users of Zhihu had exceeded 220 million by the end of 2018, and has accumulated more than 30 million questions and 130 million answers.
Zhihu began development starting from August 2010. 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 December 2021, ten of Zhihu's shareholders, including Sogou and Tencent's investment arm, sold their entire stakes in Beijing Zhizhe Tianxia Technology, the parent company of Zhihu. All shares were transferred to the founder and CEO, Zhou Yuan, who owned more than 99% of the company thereafter. It was reported that the move was driven by regulatory pressures from the Beijing branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) after the institution had summoned Zhihu to rectify practices that had led to unlawful release of information.
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 large amount of personal information and waiting for a reply. This strategy at Zhihu's early stage was to ensure high quality of questions, as well as hosting professional questions and answers, and then over time attract more users to the community.
Zhihu started open registration in March 2013. 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.
The site generates revenue through advertisements, e-books, and paid questioning to certain experts.
Zhihu works via an upvote system. It features Chinese entrepreneurs and public intellectuals among its users.
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