QQ Group as Organizational Platform

QQ Group as Organizational Platform

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4578-3.ch007
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This chapter outlines in some detail how QQ groups work as an organizational platform. A significant phenomenon in Internet mercenary marketing is that a large number of these pushing hand projects are organized and coordinated through social media platforms, most significantly QQ groups. This chapter investigates in detail how Internet mercenary operations are organized in QQ groups including functions of the QQ platform, and the nature of the QQ group in the business operation. In the last section, a closer examination of virus worthiness of messages in pushing hand tasks is provided.
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Qq Groups And Pushing Hands

The QQ group, being cost-effective and anonymity-protected, serves as an optimal coordinating platform for pushing hand operations which require a large number of people to work in a coordinated short period of time in a cyber world without being attached to a particular physical workplace. The anonymous QQ group is also suitable for the business which has a vague legal status and is operated in a gray area of legitimacy.

Tencent QQ gathered one of the largest IM populations in the world. It has 990 million registered accounts4 and can sustain a simultaneous online population to the highest number of 167.3 million. Because Tencent QQ has a huge user base, it becomes a target place for Internet mercenary companies to set up QQ groups to recruit posters and conduct promotional campaigns. The QQ group is an IM platform that services users in small groups for closed discussion of common interests or task implementation. The QQ group was initially offered when Tencent QQ appeared in 1999. One year later, Tencent QQ added a QQ group function for the first time. Users could send group messages to their friends in the QQ group. It was more convenient to conduct group communication. In 2003, the maximum number of one QQ group was 50 members, then super groups supporting up to 500 members was complemented in 2008.5 Every QQ group has fixed digits. If one wants to join a QQ group, he or she has to ask for permission from the QQ group host (the person who sets up the group). A QQ group host has the right to kick out an unwelcome member. In addition, QQ groups provide an online hard disk space to share information and documents.

In 2011 when this study was conducted, Tencent QQ groups had three levels: the ordinary group, senior group and super group. The chart below shows basic information for the three kinds of QQ groups. Each has different rights and virtual capacities. Except for the ordinary group, the two other groups require some fees to open and eligibility for use (Tencent official website). 6

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