As the first Internet-wide instant messaging service, ICQ released its first version of the program in November 1996; it was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company Mirabilis, the name ICQ is come from the phrase "I seek you". This is an adaptation of the Morse code callout "CQ", which means "calling any station". Mirabilis was acquired by AOL on June 8, 1998, with $407 million and AOL sold ICQ to Digital Sky Technologies for $187.5 million on April this year. Till now, ICQ has over 100 million registered accounts.
QQ, a free Instant Messaging, which means enjoying private chats with other QQ members in an one-on-one form or in group, anywhere in the world. Its inspiration was based on an already Internet Message Service, "ICQ". And its original name was OICQ "Open ICQ". As the most popular free instant messaging computer program in Mainland China, its simultaneous online accounts exceeds 122 million. QQ.com ranked 9th overall in Alexa's internet rankings in October 2010, followed by Twitter.
Numbers tell everything. 100 million registered accounts and 122 million simultaneous online accounts are of great difference. So far, QQ already have 700 million registered accounts. What 's made QQ win the overwhelming victory? Maybe ICQ itself is the first one to blame.
At the preliminary stage, ICQ paid little attention to overseas market. It only published English version and patch throughout the world which gave other native companies opportunities to develop instant message software. Knowing that few people in China could read English at that time, so it was not easy for them to apply an English software without one Chinese word. Just then OICQ(now called QQ) emerged who just like a terminator to ICQ. After all for Chinese it is not worth learning a foreign language just for a IM tool.
Though with English rush appearing in China, it is easier for Chinese to handle an English software. However QQ has taken strong root in Chinese market. Now most Chinese never heard about ICQ. Success favors those who prepare for it. For ICQ, it is too late to grieve when the chance is past. Just as an Chinese saying goes: The right place at the right time with the right people is important to win.
The time isn't as important as the terrain; but the terrain isn't as important as unity with the people, another Chinese old saying. QQ.com really knows this well and makes use of it. The company has published QQ games, QQ pet, QQ music, QQ space and QQ Live etc which are popular among QQ users.
To go deep into the thick of life, QQ developed QQ mobile which can make users enjoy free chat in their phone once they apply to it. And QQ grade caters to young man. They tend to have superiority if getting privilege and virtual products.
Blue from indigo plant is deeper than its origin. Obviously QQ does better than ICQ in China. It seems that QQ is not content to be counterfeit. The company gradually focuses on creation and innovation. Now 60 pct employees are R&D staff. Maybe in the near future, copy cat can also catch big fish. Let's wait and see.