QQ Live is Awesome

I’ve not been a fan of QQ the IM client, ever since its malware phase c. 2002. I used it to practice typing Chinese with friends online, but it forced me to use “Tencent Explorer” as my default browser as long as the software was installed. I have never forgiven Tencent for that.

Still, this QQ Live application is pretty awesome. I discovered it through its iPad version (and wrote about it in my recent iPad Apps for Chinese Study post), but have heard that there’s a desktop version for Windows that works great too. Get it!

QQ Live

It’s my experience that while this app doesn’t do anything that other apps don’t do, it’s especially fast (even if you’re outside China, I hear) and easy to use. Also, its limited selection is a blessing in disguise. It offers a lot of the popular TV shows and movies (including my favorite, 非诚勿扰), and saves you the trouble of having to search on Baidu video or bittorrent sites.

Remember: this is a free app with no login required. I suspect this is all a promotional trick and that we’ll all have to log in with a QQ ID just to use the program eventually, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it while it lasts!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Ross Cranwell Says: May 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I use it a lot too – to watch 非诚勿扰 and the job selection show (you’re the one..or something)..agree that the speed is incredibly fast and a good, limited selection of shows

    • You’re into 非诚勿扰 too?? I would not have guessed.

      “You’re the One” is 非诚勿扰. You mean “Only You” (非你莫属)? I’ve never seen that one. I’ll check it out.

  2. No Airplay support yet, so no sending video to AppleTV.
    A bit of a bummer.

    Is this content legal?

  3. Just installed this. Wow, this must be the smoothest access I’ve had to Chinese TV in a while. So easy. Definitely going to stream some movies and shows now for sure. Thanks for this.

  4. QQ does seem to be a bit dodgy, but that goes with the territory I guess.

    I’m running qq2011 now and it seems to be a lot better. Although it’s a beta it runs lighter and faster than any QQ that I have used before.

    Unfortunately the website side of it really frustrates me as it doesn’t play well with Chrome. I know that’s normal here but I would expect the big players to be a bit smarter..

    • I always use Explorer to navigate Chinese websites, its almost necessary with all Chinese made websites. Just make sure you keep that firewall on.

  5. I’ve been using Funshion 风行 and KanKan 看看 for a while, but they aren’t always very fast. Both run off of BT as far as I can tell. I’ll give this a shot and see if its any better, but I’m not sure anything can fix my slow 1.5 connection. This is probably a good time to denounce the internet company here in Tianjin (not sure if they are outside of Tianjin) 长城宽带 Great Wall Internet, horrible service that seems to run off of China Unicom’s network. The connection slowed to a snails pace around 10p.m. and BT could only be used during the wee mornings.

  6. Since you mentioned it, are there any Chinese bittorent sites that you know of (that still work!)?

  7. Brandon Says: May 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    http://www.qiyi.com is another good one for tv shows.

  8. I almost always use Funshion since it has nearly every movie and TV show you could reasonably want to watch, and incredibly fast. Although, since it is a BT-based program, when I want to watch something really obscure it will be a little slow. It can be bad for your C drive if you download and delete too many movies, unlike using either PP Live or QQ Live. (I prefer PP Live to QQ; better selection)

  9. Harland Says: May 11, 2011 at 5:58 am

    It’s my experience that while this app doesn’t do anything that other apps don’t do,

    So what does it do?

    PS facebook integration results in delays or timeouts in China. I’m actually posting this through a proxy.

  10. I would like to introduce the best app to watch Chinese latest TV shows and movies, PP Stream. You will find it extremely awesome. =)

  11. I installed the iPad version. It’s definitely very fast if you’re inside China. The selection of Western movies is quite limited. One update I’d like to see if the ability to turn off subtitles. AirPlay support would also be pretty good.

    Even if they keep the service as it is right now and just update it with additional content I can see this becoming a killer app. Let’s just hope they don’t require QQ login like you mentioned.

  12. Hi everybody, sorry for jumping in on this pretty old thread! Hopefully you’re still reading this so shouldn’t be a biggie. Anyways, it saddens us that some former QQ users got massively disappointed by our early editions. Let me try to make up for you all and invite you to try ou QQ International 1.6. It just got out this December 2012 and it sports lots of firepower for serious language learners. Over 100 third-party apps at your fingertips and real-time translation in 50 languages. And yes – hundreds of millions of Chinese users for you to practice Mandarin with. Get it at http://www.imqq.com it’s free of charge and 100% safe (no malware, no caveats, no risks: we’re certified by more than 100 software download portals around the world). Cheers! Emma at QQ

  13. I’m going to go check it out. I thought PPTV and PP Stream were my only options.

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