A mobile user watch Q&A on Weibo.
(ECNS) -- Pay-for-knowledge platforms and apps, including Weibo, Fenda and Zhihu Live, that allow people to pay money to have their questions answered by professionals or see online answers provided to others, have become popular in China.
Wang Sicong, the son of Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, Dalian Wanda Group chairman, was reported to have received 80,000 yuan (,590) for offering a four-Chinese-character answer on a pay-for-knowledge platform.
The price for that question was originally 5,000 yuan. However, Wang's answer attracted more than 180,000 internet users, keen to see the response, who each pay 1 yuan. The income would be shared between the platform, Wang and the question raiser, according to regulations set by the platform involved.
Questions about finance and economics, as well as health attracts the most people and offers a new way for celebrities to translate their fame into cash. A certificated Weibo user, who says he is a real estate expert, answered 10 questions in a week; the price for each was 288 yuan.
Prices for celebrity answers also increased as more people asked questions online. Statistics from Sina Weibo said about 100,000 users had asked questions on Weibo over a 100-day period. Wang, a celebrity with plenty of online followers, raised the price for his answers from 5,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan each.
Yang Lu, the co-founder of Fenda, said the price was dependent on supply and demand. Online celebrities received so many questions they couldn't answer them one by one, so the price increased.
In addition, people asking questions could have a share in the income, earning some money, if the question attracted a lot of netizens keen to hear the answer. The model stimulated people to ask more questions.
Some users also said they could get answers for health problems from professionals online, and that the expense was worth it.