Zhihu posts growth in revenue and paid users

Zhu Shenshen
China's biggest online question-and-answer website which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March says it is to expand into the video business for future growth.
Zhu Shenshen

Zhihu, China’s biggest online question-and-answer website, posted growth in revenue and paid user base in the first quarter on Monday, its first fiscal report after listing on the New York Stock Exchange in March. 

Revenue was 478.3 million yuan (US$74 million), a growth of 154.2 percent from a year ago. Gross profit jumped 248.5 percent to 272.7 million yuan, with a gross margin of 57 percent.

The business growth came from more paying members and the company’s diversification strategy, which aims to cash in through various sources besides advertising.

Zhihu said its average monthly active user base reached 85 million in the quarter, a growth of 37.7 percent, with a paying member base of 4 million, a growth of 137.8 percent.

Zhihu has a “content-centric” growth strategy and monetization approach, said Zhou Yuan, its chairman and chief executive. 

Currently, Zhihu’s business income is derived from advertising, membership, business content and services, and online education and e-commerce.

The company is expanding in the video business, Zhou said, to achieve future growth. 

However, industry insiders say it faces competition from firms such as Bilibili and Douyin, which both have a strong video business in China.

In March, Zhihu sold shares in the US market for the first time.

This year marks its 10th anniversary.

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