Tencent is killing the web version of QQ, China’s earliest social network
WeChat surpassed QQ, but it’s also leading to a resurgence among young people
More and more products of the early internet are coming to an end. The same is true in China, too, where Tencent says it will shut down the web version of QQ on the first day of 2019.
QQ, Tencent's first messaging service, was one of the first social products Chinese internet users got their hands on. The now ubiquitous WeChat was actually first based on the QQ network.
The imminent closure of WebQQ wasn’t a surprise, because Tencent already announced an ending date -- 2019 -- four years ago. But the reappearance of the message on the site still triggered a wave of nostalgia. On Weibo, users are posting comments about their memory of the site. Most of them remember logging on the site secretly at school.
“That’s what got me through high school computer classes,” One user says on Weibo.
But to be clear, it’s not the death of QQ. As a matter of fact, QQ is still alive… but mostly on teenagers’ smartphones.
QQ has a staggering 800 million monthly active users, 200 million fewer than its sibling WeChat. But ironically, WeChat’s dominance has given QQ a new life: Teenagers have flocked to QQ because their parents and relatives are all on WeChat.
The continuing success of the QQ app also spoke to the fate of its web version. While many mourned the demise of an old friend, others didn’t even know it existed.
“What even is WebQQ?” one Weibo user says.