So in any case, if you want in on a piece of all that action but you don’t speak Chinese, never fear, there is an English version for Windows:
Founded by Pony Ma in Shenzhen, China, in November 1998, Tencent is now recognized as the leading provider of Internet, mobile & telecommunications value-added services in China. QQ, Tencent’s instant messaging service platform, officially launched in Feb 1999 and announced in its 2006 Q3 report that it has 221.4 million active users. What’s more, the total registered user accounts has climbed to 572.3 million! (Source readwriteweb.com)
But you need to go to the English Sign-up page to get a QQ number.
But what if you have an Apple Macintosh Computer running Mac OS X instead of a PC running Windows? Well then you want to go try the new preview release (just released this week!) of QQ for Mac at http://im.qq.com/qq/mac/
You can use your QQ number and the QQ protocol on Linux with the former-GAIM, Pidgin, or with Adium X on a Mac, but I am not sure yet how to do either.
4 November 2008 Update: You can also now get a Linux version of QQ at http://im.qq.com/qq/linux/