Shortly afterMobile QQ 4.0 for iPhone released on May 9th, tens of thousands of users flooded its App Store page with low ratings and negative reviews.  Some even said it was the “the worst version ever”. Most of them are not happy with removing the function of showing users’ status like “online”,”busy” and not showing whether a user logs in through mobile device or PC.

Somehow the new version looks like QQ’s little brother Wexin. or WeChat. The status info is never displayed in Wexin, and the newly added social idea of “QQ FriendsCircle” is also pretty much same as the “Moments” in Weixin. Actually it is known that management of the company did intentionally want the two chatting tools be closer in function.


The new version of Mobile QQ looks a lot like WeChat .

Seeing the discontent growing unexpectedly, Tencent responded saying that the new changes were made based on an assumption that users are always online in this mobile internet age. “Recently we have been trying to figure out whether this change is unacceptable for the current market. We will surely modify according to the feedbacks.”

Not long ago on the GMIC Beijing 2013, Tencent’s CEO Pony MA mentioned this topic of Weixin replacing mobile QQ,

 This is quite sensitive topic for us. Some people asked why Mobile QQ moved slowly back then even though we sensed the trend. The biggest problem is the former structure of Tencent. Back then QQ, Qzone and Mobile QQ were under three different BUs which made it difficult to do one thing that needed input from all of them. Finally on May 18th of last year, we underwent the biggest restructuring in the past seven years. When problems emerged on our products, we can not just blame the product team.  To go with the flow of the mobile internet, we believe it’s not just about setting up a department called mobile or appointing someone to take charge of all the mobile businesses. We should embrace all the aspects in a new philosophy. So later on, we grew more comfortable with the new structure and Mobile QQ also gradually found its way.

Actually active users on Mobile QQ are more than those on Weixin, which could be a surprise to most. People assume that Weixin’s user number is way bigger than mobile QQ’s, but the truth is the opposite, to be honest. The active users on Mobile QQ is twice the number of Weixin’s. Mobile QQ might be lagged behind in the past two years, however, after the restructuring and the new strategies, I believe it’s not going to disappoint us. This is not about the younger replacing the older ones, but a new round of self-updating.

Update: Tencent has modified the version based on user feedback. Android users now can update to the new one and iOS users have to wait till it gets approved.

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at)

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