QQ International - Spyware?

December 03, 2009, 11:08 PM posted in General Discussion

Anyone tried this 'international' edition of QQ? Is it as filled with bloat and/or spyware as the Chinese edition?


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December 03, 2009, 11:47 PM


When you say "this",did you mean to provide a link? If you have one I'd be very interested to check it out.Not keen on spyware though.What's the story there with the Chinese QQ? Is there a safe way to use the Chinese QQ without spyware risk?

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December 15, 2009, 06:44 AM

Looks like QQ cleaned up their act just over a year ago:


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December 04, 2009, 01:06 AM

Oh right.Thanks for that.I hadn't seen the CPod advert,but have seen it now.Though it's an international version,I presume it links seamlessly with the Chinese version? Is there a CPod blog on this? 

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December 04, 2009, 01:30 AM


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December 05, 2009, 01:34 AM

So does anyone know whether this international QQ works on a windows 7 system? It only seems to mention xp and vista.Anyone else know anything about the spyware issue mentioned above?

Wow,some pretty amazing figures from the home page:

More than a billion registered accounts ! With China's population somewhere around 1.4 billion,that's approaching the equivalent of nearly everyone in China having an account[well,more than 2 out of 3 anyhow].Are rural poor likely to have an account? I guess some folk may have more than one account,or some may be old accounts.I wonder what proportion of accounts are from outside China? I suppose a contingent would be overseas Chinese.

Also over 50 million currently online on QQ and up to 90+million at peak.

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December 05, 2009, 02:06 AM

Hey,I just found this old CPod lesson on QQ:


I'm looking forward to the community discussion on it as much as the lesson.Looks like Bazza's been a champ posting there so looking for some insights.Still I'd like to hear more about this new international version.

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December 05, 2009, 05:27 AM

Recent article on the new International version of QQ here:


Another one here:


I suppose it's a bit early for many Poddies to have an International QQ account? ,but how about a Chinese version QQ account?

Hang on:

"The QQ International right now has over 200k users since its official launch in October 2009"

Another telling comment:

"Popular international service such as Facebook and Twitter are not available in China right now, we think Tencent clearly sends a message saying, let’s connect on QQ International."

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December 05, 2009, 05:38 AM

Yes, unfortunately I've found all the software put out by our good friends at Tencent Corp. to be spyware.  I

真可惜 Tencent Corp 所有提供的软件就是间谍软体。

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December 05, 2009, 06:02 AM

Thanks xiaohu,

Well as tempted as I am to check out QQ and open an international QQ account I can't risk it when every internet reference to it seems to confirm spyware or malware risk and can find no reassurance to the contrary.Wikipedia says [though the article seems old]:

Because of QQ's extensive use of advertisements and processes related to ads, it has been branded as malicious adware by many anti-virus and anti-spyware vendors

Another comment from the net from mid last year:

I am an IT tech, and out of the 1000s of pcs ive seen in China, the only ones without spyware were owned by foreigners who dont use QQ.

..actually,this makes me really curious on what your average Chinese person thinks about this issue.Do they just accept spyware and not worry about it? Are they used to a big brother is watching type feeling [and see the big brother as entirely benevolent]? Any thoughts?

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December 05, 2009, 08:09 AM

Long story, there was a Chinese girl who used my old computer and installed QQ and all the Tencent software and my computer is now completely unusable.  谢天谢地我有我的笔记本电脑。

That was a couple years ago, I don't know if they've improved or not, I don't dare find out.  What's even worse if the OS debilitating malware that will infect your computer if you even think about going near any 百度提供的软件。好恐怖啊!

Malware or no malware 我并不怕,“大兄弟” 观看着我!

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December 04, 2009, 12:38 AM

No no, it was a turn of phrase (alluding to Chinesepod's advert for it).


Here's the link though:



As for Chinese QQ: I'm not sure if it still has spyware (google's unclear on the matter), but it's certainly very bloated.

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December 05, 2009, 11:36 AM

baba, I thought by now you would have sussed that the concept of personal or individual freedom that westerners take for granted, is not a meaningful concept in (mainland) China. Chinese people are conditioned from an early age not to even desire such a thing, to subconsciously feel it is some kind of foreign decadence/nonsense.

I have had experiences trying to clean up PCs here which were infested with spyware and viruses caused by QQ. I will never have it on my own PC, (but have to put up with it on the one I share with my wife, because like many/most Chinese, she can't do without it.)

Most Chinese don't even 'get' the concept of spyware/malware. If you try to explain it to them, they mostly don't care. It just seems entirely natural to them that a software company would do that, would want to be able to collect information about you, or be able to make money by pumping advertising at you or selling on info about your browsing habits, etc.

QQ is immensely popular in China of course, you might as well say universal. Chinese people love wasting time on it, and any kind of ill effects seem unimportant to them compared with all the fun of the online 热闹, the chatting and the games and the tunes etc etc etc.

I privately suspect its popularity suits the powers that be, as I'd say it's almost certainly actually configured to allow hacking and spying by persons who might want/need to do that.

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December 05, 2009, 11:51 AM

Hi bababardwan

Furthermore, most young Chinese guys play computer games and QQ things at an Internet cafe. Who cares spywares and viruses?

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December 05, 2009, 12:03 PM

@barbs, tal

I visited a primary school today and perused the blackboard in the teachers' room, noting that the kids have a subject abbreviated as 思. Understood 语, 英, 数, 科 (科学的科),体, 等等。But 思? Time out for contemplation?  Sounds nice.  Asked a teacher '这是什么?and she said 思想的思。 Not to worry, only one period a day.  Say no more?

As a postscript, adults at university have a time in their day with a 'counsellor'. It was 'sports day' Friday and they were told that if they didn't go to the sports day they had to go to '思'.  Good way to get the numbers up for the 100 meters sprint?  


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December 05, 2009, 12:28 PM

I was able to get pigin to work with QQ a year or two ago under Linux. I only had one friend who wanted me to use it and so I've stoped using it, but for those that are real interested in comunicating with QQ people and not using tencent software it is worth a try.

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December 05, 2009, 01:30 PM

Hey guys,I've been off at a fn and just caught up.Thanks for all your advice.xiaophil and stone_nomad,yeah I read about some of the workarounds earlier today like pigin and coral QQ which is apparantly going through the courts again in Shenzhen I think it was.I think there was also a premium service you could subscribe to to avoid the ads.[I also found that one of the downloads for QQ messenger I think it was works in Windows 7].Still,I'm a bit put off I must say.Thanks tal for your insights.Adware is one thing for them to be blase about but what about identity theft,bank account details,fraud,etc? Yeah,and I also came across some comments relating to spying by the powers that be which someone rightly pointed out is not too palatable to foreigners.changye,now there's a good idea.Only thing is here I don't think one'd be able to download qq software at an internet cafe and it's unlikely to be installed here.I suppose some services are still going to be available on the web though? As I've not used it before I'm not  too sure.bodawei,I think I will really have to 思 for a while.I'm sure I'm missing something hinted at in your comment.

I think it'd be great if Jenny got the QQ International folk [though it was founded down Shenzhen way I gather there's the international office in Shanghai] on the Jenny Zhu show and interviewed them and perhaps even addressed some of these concerns.I'm all ears.

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December 05, 2009, 06:36 PM

Anyone know if the Ubuntu version has spyware too?

I've tried Pidgin and Empathy before, and it would rarely connect to the QQ servers, and often seemed to get my QQ account disabled.

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December 06, 2009, 06:21 AM


Sorry, I was a bit obscure.  思 is a subject which involves instruction in 'proper thinking'.  Rather like religious education in some Western schools?  I was in a way giving some further weight to tal's comments about the extent of critical thinking he has observed.  

This was my first experience in a Chinese PS.  I was un-nerved by the students ability to repeat everything I said.  I said "stop repeating everything I say" and they repeated "stop repeating everything I say".  I said "No, I want you to answer me in Chinese", and they said (in unison) ''No, I want you to answer me in Chinese".  I could only conduct a conversation in Chinese.  Oh well, I got some Chinese practice.  :-)   

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December 06, 2009, 07:47 AM


"stop repeating everything I say"

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December 05, 2009, 08:19 AM


Almost everyone here is using a pirated OS.  A few people are savvy enough to have found a way to receive updates, but not most of them as far as I can tell.  Thus, most of the computers have a firewall that more metaphorically resembles a colander.  I never hear anybody mention this, let alone complain.  I'm not sure why this is, but I think it is because people are more used to shoddy equipment here, and as you said, more used to being silently observed.

I won't use QQ on my computer.  I wonder if CPod has thought this partnership through.

PS: there is a chat program called pidgin that supposedly can use QQ ID's.  My wife couldn't get it to work, though.  To tell the truth, she didn't really try too hard.