What is the Japanese equivalent of quora

Ep. 52: Zhihu and Kuaishou - Has China’s Quora Found Its Prince Charming?

· Tech Buzz China 英文 科技 评论

TechBuzz China is going to China! As part of our inaugural invite-only TechBuzz China Investor Trip for public market investors taking place right after Golden Week, we will be hosting live meetups. These will take place in Beijing’s Sanlitun after dinner on Tuesday, October 8, and in Shanghai after dinner on Thursday, October 10. If you are in either of those cities, do come out and have a beer on us! Check our Twitter (@techbuzzchina) for updates on the exact locations and times.

Episode 52 of TechBuzz China is on a topic from back in August, when Kuaishou, Baidu, Tencent, and Capital Today invested a collective $ 434 million into the Q&A site Zhihu 知 乎. The site, which literally means "Do you know?" in Chinese, is comparable to Quora in its core services. Its 220 million monthly active users (MAU) is also comparable with Quora’s 300 million MAU. In typical TechBuzz fashion, our co-hosts, Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu, dive into Zhihu’s founding story, the company’s business strategy over time, and further comparisons with global sites such as Quora and Reddit. They conclude by explaining why the recent partnership between Kuaishou and Zhihu makes sense.

Listen to find out: What does Chinese media believe is significant about the hometown province of Zhihu CEO Zhou Yuan 周 源? Over the course of several years, how did Zhihu beat out competitors that included other startups as well as products created by the likes of Baidu? In fact, how might these past stories help to explain Baidu’s participation in Zhihu’s latest round? What is Fenda 分 答, how does it relate to Zhihu’s trajectory, and what might explain why it was one of the first instances in which a Silicon Valley entrepreneur openly admitted that he found inspiration in the innovative design of a Chinese company? In what ways is Zhihu’s latest financing so notable, and what does it tell us about the current state of the internet landscape in China? How does Bytedance fit into this fray, and what has been the extent of its investment in the space? Finally, what do our co-hosts think about the future of the user-generated text and voice content space in China?

You can find these stories and more at pandaily.com. If you enjoy our content, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, liking our Facebook page, and tweeting at us! We do truly appreciate your feedback and support. Thank you also to our listeners over at our partner, dealstreetasia.com.

We are grateful for our ever-talented producers, Shaw Wan and Kaiser Kuo, and for our intern, Wang Menglu.



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  • One of Tech Buzz China’s partners is leading alternative data firm BigOne Lab, who is one of the best sources on detailed operational data for large Chinese tech companies. In Tech Buzz's quarterly update, BigOne's head of research, Robert Wu, joined Rui for a live webinar going over everything interesting among the big China ecommerce players, which are now Alibaba, JD, Meituan, Pinduoduo, Douyin, and Kuaishou.

    We begin with the latest in community group buying, the group-buying next-day pickup business model that is sweeping over China. We go over market shares, warehousing efficiencies, and best-selling items and explain what that means in terms of strategy across the big players. We also talk about how much progress the Douyin and Kuaishou platforms have made in ecommerce, but point out their weaknesses vis-a-vis Alibaba, who is still the towering giant in the space. We touch upon what GMV breakdowns look like across the platforms, and finally end up with some interesting observations you might not have expected regarding creator engagement in Douyin and Bilibili.

    If you are new to these companies, we highly suggest checking out episodes 28, 55, 57, and 80 on ByteDance, Kuaishou, Bilibili, and community group buying, respectively.

    Although we edited the audio to make it easy to follow along, such events in the future are best experienced live, as much of the data is presented visually! To sign up for future events like this, please go to www.techbuzzchina.com.

  • Episode 81 of Tech Buzz China continues our series of audio experiments, and features co-host Rui Ma in conversation with Wharton professor Karl Ulrich on his latest book, Winning in China. The book was co-authored with Wharton Global Fellow Lele Sang, and presents eight carefully researched case studies of successes and failures, from Amazon to Sequoia Capital.

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  • In episode 80 of Tech Buzz China, Rui and Ying talk about community group buying 社区 团购 shèqū tuángòu, or CGB, which is the hottest thing in China tech right now. In addition to startups raising crazy funds - one just raised $ 700 million - the internet giants have all gone in with guns blazing, and investors are bullish.


    Listen and follow along with us as we explore what exactly CGB is, and what makes it so special - and controversial. Listeners will also hear from one of our favorite China tech writers, Lillian Li of the Chinese Characteristics newsletter, who just wrote two issues on this topic.


    Yup, Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance for her ebook. You can get updates on it and our other work by subscribing to her newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. Be sure to also check out the Tech Buzz China YouTube channel, which has some video-only content. Our transcripts are available on our website, as well as at pandaily.com and supchina.com.


    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected]


    Thank you to our teams at SupChina and Pandaily, and especially Caiwei Chen, Kaiser Kuo, and Jason MacRonald.



  • In Episode 79 of Tech Buzz China, Rui and Ying talk about a company that aspires to be “China’s L’Oréal” for the digital age: Yatsen Group, owner of smash hit cosmetics app Perfect Diary (完美 日记) among other brands. Though we at Tech Buzz have never directly covered the company, we have mentioned it, including in Episode 70 with Lauren Hallanan; as well during last week’s Q3 Market Trends call (link available through Dec. 9) with BigOne Lab’s Mengyao Ren. Yatsen recently listed on the NYSE, and it's got a nearly $ 12 billion market cap.


    Listen and follow along with us as we explore Yatsen's founding story, their evolving strategy, reasons for their success, and the role of clever marketing. We’ll also talk about how the company’s various tactics speak to the evolution of China’s content ecommerce ecosystem. Finally, listeners will hear from Mark Tanner, the founder and Managing Director of Shanghai-based marketing and research firm China Skinny.


    Yup, Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance for her ebook. You can get updates on it and to our other work by subscribing to her newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. Be sure to also check out the Tech Buzz China YouTube channel, which has some video-only content. Our transcripts are available on our website, as well as at pandaily.com and supchina.com.


    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected]


    Thank you to our teams at SupChina and Pandaily, and especially Caiwei Chen, Kaiser Kuo, and Jason MacRonald.

  • Episode 78 of Tech Buzz China features our co-host Rui Ma in conversation with Yán Xiāo 肖 妍 on the timely topic of China’s proposed national digital currency. Yan is a San Francisco-based project lead at the World Economic Forum with substantial experience in fintech, having worked as senior legal counsel at Ant Group. She is also a lawyer by training and holds both American and Chinese legal licenses. Her current work focuses on digital payments and cross-border payments. Yan’s opinions on this episode are her own thoughts, and do not reflect those of the Forum in any way.


    Rui was an early observer of the cryptocurrency space, and has witnessed the rise of bitcoin and other technologies unfold concurrently in the U.S. and China. Listen to their conversation to find out: What does Yan think about the prospects for China’s proposed digital currency, which is typically called digital yuan or digital RMB? How are these prospects affected by the existing payments and digital landscape in China? What are the key features of digital RMB? What technologies form its backbone? What are other countries doing, and what is the global landscape for this type of national initiative?


    Yup, Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance for her ebook. You'll want to get front-row updates on it and to her other work by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. You'll also want to check out the Tech Buzz China YouTube channel, and can view all of our past transcripts on our website, as well as at pandaily.com and supchina.com.


    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected]


    Thank you to our producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as to Jason MacRonald at SupChina.

  • In episode 77 of Tech Buzz China, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu tackle a topic that has become the next big thing in China ecommerce: C2M, or consumer to manufacturer. Although the acronym itself is not new, the term has been redefined within the past two years, driven by the choices of a handful of key founders and companies. Listen to learn about why Rui and Ying think this new iteration is at once innovative and transformational, why both factories and brands stand to benefit, and what this all means for the future of manufacturing and commerce - in China and globally.

    Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance for her ebook. You'll want to get front-row updates on it and to her other work by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com.

    We have finished uploading all of our past episodes onto the new Tech Buzz China YouTube channel and putting them together into playlists by sector - check them out! As always, our past transcripts are viewable on our website, as well as at pandaily.com and supchina.com.

    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected]

    Thank you to our ever-talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as to Jason MacRonald at SupChina.



  • In episode 76 of Tech Buzz China, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu take advantage of the recent Lufax IPO filing (Chinese name: 陆 金 所 lùjīnsuǒ) to talk about the P2P lending industry in China, which has been an oft-requested topic! We get into China’s (lack of) regulation of the nontraditional form of financing, drivers behind the industry’s quick boom and bust, and some of the reasons Lufax is one of the few, and biggest, survivors.

    We have started uploading all of our past episodes onto the new Tech Buzz China YouTube channel and putting them together into playlists by sector - check it out. You'll soon be able to find this and other relevant episodes under the “fintech” category.

    Yes, Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance, for publication as an ebook! You'll want to get front-row updates on it by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. As always, our past transcripts and other content are also viewable at pandaily.com and supchina.com.

    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!

    Thank you to our ever-talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as to Jason MacRonald at SupChina.



  • In episode 75 of Tech Buzz China, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu talk about China ecommerce SaaS (software as a service), which currently primarily refers to WeChat ecommerce as it takes place through mini programs. Listen to learn about major players Youzan and Weimob, the difference between public and private traffic, and what Alibaba’s and Tencent’s future strategies might be given their actions up to this point. How accurate are the various players ’much-sought comparisons to Shopify, and how closely do the companies truly compare with that platform in their journeys to becoming China’s dominant ecommerce solution provider?

    Yes, Rui is still writing her e-book on ByteDance! You'll want to get updates on it by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. As always, past transcripts and other content are also viewable at pandaily.com and supchina.com.

    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription!), And by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!

    And thanks to our ever-talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as to SupChina’s Production Associate Jason MacRonald.

  • In episode 73 of Tech Buzz China, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu return to the typical deep-dive format you've come to expect, with a timely look into recently listed real estate tech platform Beike 贝壳, or KE Holdings (BEKE ). In addition to talking about the two-year-young company, we explore the realities of the Chinese real estate industry, which operates completely differently from (and is arguably messier than) the industry here in the U.S. We cover KE Holdings ’founder story, the company’s relationship to traditional real estate brokerage business Lianjia 链 家, and the role of government policies in developing China’s real estate sector.


    Listen to find out: What are Beike’s core value propositions to its users? How does it make money, and in what ways is it similar to Redfin or Zillow? How apt is the statement “Alibaba is to retail as KE Holdings is to real estate”? Why does this opportunity exist in China, is it even more massive than meets the eye, and what factors within the local market dynamics make it possible?


    Yes, Rui is still writing her e-book on ByteDance! You'll want to get updates on it by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. As always, past transcripts and other content are also viewable at pandaily.com and supchina.com.


    If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription!), And by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!


    And thanks to our ever-talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo.





  • Episode 71 of Tech Buzz China features Mu Chen in conversation with our co-hosts Ying Lu and Rui Ma, on the topic of digital and consumption trends in China. Mu is the founder and CEO of BigOne Lab (百 观 Lab), a data intelligence firm for investors. He discusses recent data and trends from key industries such as delivery, recruitment, logistics, travel, online spending, and gaming to illustrate how China’s economy is recovering from the downturn caused by COVID-19. This is the fourth in a series of experimental episodes that we will be releasing this summer. Today’s is a lightly edited version of a live webinar that Tech Buzz held in July. To hear these - and more! - as they happen live, you can sign up for free at techbuzzchina.com/events. Note that the unedited version of this track can be found on our Tech Buzz China YouTube channel. As always, past transcripts and other content are viewable at pandaily.com and techbuzzchina.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback! We are grateful for our talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as SupChina production associate Jason MacRonald. Amidst the continued global pandemic, and during this particularly chilly time in the U.S.-China relationship, our thoughts go out to listeners who have been personally affected. Stay safe, and be well.


  • Episode 70 of Tech Buzz China features Lauren Hallanan in conversation with our co-hosts Ying Lu and Rui Ma on the topic of livestreaming ecommerce. In addition to being a former China-based livestreamer herself, with over 400,000 followers, Lauren is a fellow SupChina podcaster at the China Marketing Podcast. Go check it out!


    Today, Lauren gives a fascinating overview of China’s livestreaming ecommerce industry, including its history, key traits and differentiators, common content formats, and product design and features. Throughout, she helps us answer these questions: Why has livestreaming, specifically in ecommerce, become so explosively popular in China? How has it continued to evolve post-COVID? Can - and will - we see the same level of success here in the West?


    As always, past transcripts and other content are viewable at pandaily.com and techbuzzchina.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!





  • Episode 69 of Tech Buzz China features our co-host Rui Ma in dialogue with Jeff Ding, a Rhodes Scholar and D. Phil Researcher at Oxford in the Future of Humanity Institute. He is also the creator of a free weekly newsletter called China AI. For his talk, Jeff focuses on artificial intelligence in China, specifically, some of the “unsexy” technical applications of AI across several industries.


    This is the second in a series of experimental, non-scripted episodes that we will be releasing this summer. Today’s episode is a lightly edited version of a live webinar that Tech Buzz hosted on June 5. To hear these (and more) as they happen live, you can sign up for free at techbuzzchina.com/events.














    As always, past transcripts are viewable at pandaily.com and techbuzzchina.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, and by tweeting at us @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!

    We are grateful for our talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as SupChina production associate Jason MacRonald. We hope you enjoy the episode.

  • Episode 68 of Tech Buzz China features our co-host Rui Ma in dialogue with Shang Koo, the CFO of M17 Entertainment, or M17.asia, which is a livestreaming company popular in Taiwan and Japan. Listen to learn more about entertainment livestreaming and how the industry has developed throughout Asia. Shang goes into the dynamics of gifting, critiques of various business models, and the impacts of COVID-19 on the sector both within China and in markets that M17 serves.


    This is the first in a series of experimental, non-scripted episodes that we will be releasing this summer. The recording originally took place in late April in the form of an online webinar. To hear these (and more!) As they happen live, you can sign up for free at techbuzzchina.com/events.

    As always, past transcripts are viewable at pandaily.com and techbuzzchina.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, and by tweeting at us @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback!


    We are grateful for our talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as SupChina production associate Jason MacRonald. Caiwei in particular spent extra time on post-production for this new episode format. We hope you enjoy it!


  • In episode 67 of Tech Buzz China, hosts Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu discuss the ByteDance family of video apps outside of TikTok, including Xigua, Huoshan, and Pipixia. Most listeners know by now that ByteDance is very good at video, and these other apps provide noteworthy - though not comprehensive - examples of just how good it is. Listen to learn about ByteDance’s extensive video portfolio. In particular, does Xigua want to win versus Bilibili for the title of China’s? Is ByteDance’s strategy too scattered and unfocused, or is it thoughtful and comprehensive?

    A reminder - check out Tech Buzz’s ongoing online events series, including webinars and happy hours, all of which are free! Our next event spotlights John Oliverius of the China Esports Business News Digest. John will be talking about the most interesting events taking place in gaming and esports in China, and what we can learn from the companies that are leading in this space. You can sign up at techbuzzchina.com/events.

    All past transcripts are viewable at pandaily.com and techbuzzchina.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, and by tweeting at us @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] As always, thank you for your support.

    We are grateful for our talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as SupChina production associate Jason MacRonald. Stay healthy, everyone!



  • Episode 65 of Tech Buzz China is a special one - a reading of the seventh issue of Extra Buzz, our new biweekly newsletter written by co-host Rui Ma. Listen (and read along) to follow Rui's thoughts on the biggest story in China tech last week: the alleged fraud of China’s on-demand coffee company, Luckin Coffee 瑞 幸 咖啡. At its core, we at Tech Buzz believe Luckin is a story of information asymmetry, with voices on either side of the Pacific at times seeming to be telling different stories altogether. Rui explains why investors and other observers who did the proper digging would never have been bullish, or mistaken Luckin for Starbucks.

    Tech Buzz is holding a Virtual Happy Hour with a special guest, Dan Grover, this Thursday, April 16, 3: 00–4: 00 p.m. PST / 6:00 am-7:00pm EST. We have a few spots left, over at techbuzzchina.com/community. Our discussion will center on how Chinese internet companies came together to create initiatives that helped combat COVID-19, and how perhaps you as a technologist or entrepreneur can do more, too.

    Listeners can find our transcripts and more at pandaily.com. If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review, and by tweeting at us @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at [email protected] and [email protected] As always, thank you for your support.

    We are grateful for our talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, as well as SupChina production associate Jason MacRonald. Stay healthy, everyone!

    Like the podcasts at SupChina? Help us out by taking this brief survey.



  • Episode 64 of Tech Buzz China is the second of two episodes on the Chinese telemedicine sector, which is closely watched in the wake of COVID-19. This week, on the heels of episode 63’s discussion of Ping An Good Doctor, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu talk about other experiments, such as Chunyu Yisheng 春雨 医生, WeDoctor 好 大夫, and Dingxiangyuan 丁香 园. We also give overviews of telemedicine efforts by some of the large internet companies, including Alibaba, Baidu, and JD Health.

    The overarching story is that healthcare tech is a clear market opportunity in China, and within the narrow space of telemedicine, there are a lot of companies trying to solve the same set of problems. Listen to find out: How did these players all converge on telemedicine, and what are the factors - some currently missing - that must be in place to drive a serious uptick in adoption?