What's the most popular Instant Messaging client? That depends on what you mean by "popular," but did you think Tencent's QQ International was one of them? If popularity means number of users or size of the network, few of the well-known IM clients can approach Tencent's claims of more than 710 million users. As you might have guessed, QQ is one of the most popular IM and video chat tools in China, which means it's got a user base that's difficult to match. QQi gives international users access to QQi's immense Chinese network. It's available in several languages. It also integrates useful apps ranging from newsfeeds to games and videos, with more free apps you can add. Translations, currency conversions, and other apps essential to travelers make QQi worth adding to your system, even if you use a different IM client for other contacts.
QQi has an up-to-date user interface that can't be mistaken for anything but a chat app -- so far, so good. It's even got the obligatory cute animal mascot: a penguin with a red scarf. When we first signed on, QQi opened an excellent video user's guide that walked us through each step. QQi's apps are a significant part of the software's features and let users do everything from search for new friends to watch video to play games. The MyApps button on QQi's toolbar accesses your apps and lets you quickly add or remove them.
We found QQi as easy to set up and use as any of the better-known chat apps (after more than 700 million sign-ons, you tend to get the hang of it). We were also impressed with the quality of the English translations, which can be a weak spot when going global. QQi gives the impression of attention to detail. But it quickly became obvious that QQi emphasizes Chinese content, links, apps, and features. That's hardly surprising, and certainly no disadvantage: quite the reverse. QQi is specifically designed to let the world talk to China's billion Internet users, and it's by far the most capable and sophisticated tool of its type we've yet tried.