Date: Feb 24th 2014 9:19p.m.
Contributed by: cityweekend

Although WeChat is now the instant messaging service of choice, QQ is still used by many locals and businesses in China. The City Weekend office has received word that a number of our readers have found it difficult to register and use QQ. Here is our guide to getting started.

Why use QQ?

Way before Wechat and Weibo, QQ was king. It was a time when the alternatives to chatting online were MSN messenger, which none of your Chinese friends had, or just using plain old text messaging. Now though, the field of play has changed. As internet messaging has moved to cell phones, services like WhatsApp and WeChat have overtaken QQ in popularity.

That is not to say that QQ is dead though. According to QQ's creators Tencent, as of December 31 2012 there were 798.2 million registered QQ users. Today, QQ is not just used to send messages from person to person, but has become an online telephone and file sharing tool that is also used by businesses to help customer service. The wide variety of features available makes QQ an attractive and versatile application to have and to master.

How to get it?

Mobile QQ

First, before you can start chewing the fat with your buddies, you need a QQ number. Your number can be obtained very easily in English, at QQ's international website. You'll need a valid email address and telephone number to confirm your details, and it shouldn't take you longer than five minutes to fill out the online form to set up your account.

Once you have your QQ number you can download QQ onto a number of different devices. There are versions (both in English and Chinese) for Windows and Mac computers, as well as Android and iPhone/iPad. You ...

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