9 Post-Worthy QZone Statistics

Updated · Sep 16, 2022

Chinese social media platforms really form a universe on their own.

QZone, which combines elements of Facebook and the once-dominant MySpace, is one of China's most influential social networks. As of 2022, it allows more than half a billion people to share their thoughts, feelings, and favorite music with the world—or, well, with other Chinese users.

Read along to learn how big the platform is, who uses it, how it compares to others in the market, and more key QZone statistics.

QZone Users: The Highlights (Editor’s Choice)

  • Back in 2010, QZone was the largest social network in China.
  • QZone has a 41.6% penetration in the Chinese market.
  • The platform has more than 600 million monthly active users.
  • 80% of people who use QZone are 35 or younger.
  • QZone, just like other Chinese platforms, automatically censors “sensitive” images.
  • Every day, people make 40 million new posts on QZone.
  • Tencent, the company behind QZone, generates $70+ billion a year.

The Most Relevant QZone Statistics in 2022

Chinese social media platforms aren’t all that popular in the rest of the world. So, in this first section, we’d give you a rundown of the basics.

Let’s get started.

1. Tencent launched QZone in 2005.

(Source: China Internet Watch)

Yeah, it’s practically as old as Facebook. QZone shares more similarities with this social media platform than with TikTok, SnapChat, or Instagram. Both are slower-paced platforms that are comparatively less focused on visuals.

As for the main differences between the two, QZone users get to play background music and make more blog-like posts, kind of like MySpace. 

There are also the origins of the platforms. While 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook with the help of four other college students, QZone is a product of Tencent—China’s multi-billion tech company.

Fun fact: Tencent is so big that it alone accounted for 15% of the world’s gaming revenue in 2018. The company’s portfolio includes Clash of Clans, Honor of Kings, and Call of Duty Mobile.

2. QZone was China's biggest social networking platform—until WeChat came along.

(Source: The Conversation)

It took a few years before Tencent’s CEO, Pony Ma, agreed to open up QZone to third-party apps, but his decision certainly paid out. By 2010, the platform boasted 492 million active users, making Qzone China’s most popular social network at the time.

However, a year later, Tencent launched WeChat, which became an instant hit.

Wait, so, QZone and WeChat belong to the same company?

Yes, much in the way that Zuckerberg owns both Facebook and Instagram—except that Tencent developed WeChat from scratch, whereas Meta acquired Instagram once it was already out and about.

Fun fact: It took WeChat just three years to surpass the total users on QZone. By the end of 2014, the platform already had 500 million active accounts. Now, that number is well above the 1.2 billion mark.

3. More than a third of China’s netizens use QZone.

(Source: Statista)

34.4% of internet users is quite respectable, but it’s nowhere near as impressive as today’s social media giants. WeChat, for instance, has managed to attract 77% of internet users in the country. Duoyin (70.2%) and QQ (61.5%) fall a bit behind but still attract quite the audience.

None of them sound familiar?

That’s probably because all three of them are tailored specifically to a Chinese audience. In fact, there are hardly any non-China users on Qzone, as the platform is only available in Mandarin.

Fun fact: The company behind TikTok, ByteDance, is actually Chinese, too. Unlike QZone, though, TikTok is available in 75 languages.

4. Combined, people make 40+ million posts a day on QZone.

(Source: China Trading Desk)

For comparison, WeChat (a competing Chinese platform) has 120 million people posting content each day in the “Moments” section.

As you can imagine, the numbers are even bigger when it comes to the social media platforms that have truly gone global. Back in 2019, 500 million Instagrammers posted at least one story a day.

5. There are 600+ million QZone monthly active users.

(Source: Visual Capitalist)

WeChat is the absolute winner among all Chinese social media apps, boasting 1.2 billion monthly active users (aka double QZone’s MAU).

If we narrow it down to just Chinese blogging platforms, though, QZone is the #1 on the list—but just barely. Weibo is creeping up on it with its 566 million monthly active users.

Fun fact: QZone is particularly popular among the younger generations—80% of the platform’s user base is not even 35 years old.

QZone & Censorship

China has a very tight grip on all things that happen online. Popular Western sites have to censor some of their content to operate in China (like Shutterstock, Bing, and Amazon) or risk being outright banned (like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, or The New York Times).

It’s also that Chinese companies themselves have to play their part in controlling what’s said and shown on their platforms—be they online stores, search engines, or social media platforms.

Let’s see how Qzone handles this.

6. So, is the internet censored in China?

(Source: First Monday)

It most certainly is. In short, people aren’t allowed to post anything that may disrupt social harmony. How do Chinese authorities regulate that?

Well, they have systems in place that detect unwanted keywords (things like Tibet, Xinjiang, etc.) that flag the post-to-be. Then it can go one of six ways:

  1. Your post is blocked before publication.
  2. Your post gets held for “moderation” and waits for approval indefinitely.
  3. Your post gets through, but social networks delete it soon after.
  4. Your post seems to be published, but you’re actually the only one who can see it.
  5. Your post is published, but it isn’t visible to people in mainland China.
  6. Your post is edited before publication, substituting sensitive words with asterisks [***].

As you can expect, though, there are no official QZone statistics on the subject.

7. Tencent censors images—even in private chats.

(Source: The Citizen Lab)

How does it do that?

Basically, all virtual images have an MD5 hash that serves as a unique identifier (like its fingerprint, if you will). And Tencent has made it so that every time you try to send an image through the QZone app (or any other of its platforms), the image’s MD5 hash is automatically compared to a blacklist.

If your image passes that first test, it then goes through a visual similarity analysis to double-check that it’s not a new “sensitive” image—and yes, Tencent’s tech evaluates whatever text is shown on the image, too.

All this happens in real time, which means that should your image be flagged on either test, it will be automatically filtered.

Interestingly enough, Tencent doesn’t apply blanket censorship to all its platforms. Don’t get us wrong—all of them are censored but to a different degree. For instance, group chats are more heavily filtered than one-on-one conversations.

Fun fact about QZone: It has a slightly different blacklist than WeChat Moments.

8. The police detained a Chinese woman for wearing a kimono, and she shared the story on QZone.

(Source: The Print)

In August 2022, a Chinese cosplayer decided to have an outdoor photoshoot dressed as the protagonist of a Japanese manga series. She didn’t expect the police to detain her, interrogate her, search her phone, confiscate her kimono, order her to write a 500-word letter of self-reflection, and warn her not to talk about any of it online.

As it was, she was so upset about the whole incident that that’s precisely what she went on to do, sharing her story with QZone’s China users on Friday and then with Weibo users on Sunday.

Her video and hashtag went viral before her post was censored on Monday, reaching over eight million views.

9. China has sent at least 58 citizens to jail for using Twitter.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

Wait, wasn’t Twitter banned?

Yes, but some solutions can help people get around the Great Firewall of China, like Express VPN. Of course, the Chinese government doesn’t quite like (read: authorize) citizens using this type of software, but that doesn’t seem to stop some netizens.

Back in 2018, the police arrested eight people for criticizing the Chinese government on Twitter. In 2019, that number rose to 25, and as many more the following year, giving us a total 58 citizens who were arrested and sentenced to at least six months in jail.

Wrap Up

Unfortunately, QZone statistics aren’t as readily available as we’d like, but it’s understandable given the restrictions that surround the platform’s home country.

We know that this social network has been around since the early days of the Chinese internet. Although other networks have taken over the scene, QZone remains stable with a sizable user base that isn’t likely to quit the platform anytime soon.

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Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.