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Zhihu Inc.
Zhihu logo.svg
Type of businessPublic
Type of site
Knowledge markets, Q&A software
Available inChinese
Traded asNYSEZH
HeadquartersBeijing, China
Area servedWorldwide
  • Zhou Yuan (周源)
  • Li Shenshen (李申申)
  • Huang Jixin (黄继新)[1]
Key peopleZhou Yuan (CEO)
RegistrationOptional/required, can write and ask anonymously
LaunchedJanuary 2011
Current statusActive
Literal meaningKnow?

Zhihu (NYSEZH) 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,[2] and has reached 17 million as of May 2015[3] with 250 million monthly page views.[4] 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.[5]

In Classical Chinese, "Zhīhū" (知乎) means "Know". Zhihu is used in China as a question and answer forum.[6]


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.[7][8][9]

On August 12, 2019, Zhihu completed a $450 million F-round funding led by Chinese short video platform Kuaishou and internet giant Baidu.[10]

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.[11][12]

Product operation[edit]

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.[13] 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.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "谁创办了知乎?" [Who founded Zhihu?] (in Chinese). Zhihu. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  2. ^ Zhu, Xudong (13 July 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]. QQ.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  3. ^ "知乎创始人周源:我也曾是正宗程序猿". Sohu (in Chinese). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. ^ "知乎:用知识串联世界". Xinhuanet (in Chinese). 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on April 27, 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. ^ "知乎宣布用户数破2.2亿". 36kr.com/ (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  6. ^ "Tech in Asia - Connecting Asia's startup ecosystem". www.techinasia.com. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  7. ^ 余一 (5 November 2015). "知乎确认已完成5500万美金融资 腾讯领投". tech.qq.com. 腾讯科技. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  8. ^ 李开复爆料创新工场已投资问答社区网站知乎 (in Chinese). QQ.com. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  9. ^ 启明创投投资企业:媒体和互联网 (in Chinese). 启明创投. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  10. ^ Lee, David (2019-08-12). "Zhihu Completes Largest Funding Round Ever of $450 Million". Pandaily. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  11. ^ "Investors offload stakes in Zhihu after regulator issues directive to 'rectify' business". KrASIA. 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2022-01-11.
  12. ^ "China summons Quora-like Zhihu for unlawful release of information". CNA. Retrieved 2022-01-11.
  13. ^ Hu, Wei. "提交 "加入知乎申请" 后多久才能获得邀请". Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  14. ^ Wong, Sue-lin. "In China, A New Space for New Questions". Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.

External links[edit]