Pandoraaa At the beginning I was also in favour of it. Naver (the Korean equivalent to Qidian/Tencent) did an amazing job uniting the webtoon community and also helping newcomer's puplish their own stories on their site.
With Qidian bringing in some money and advertisment (it was also around this time that the 'the kings avatar' anime was airing) the readers were, in my opinion, sure to profit from increased amount of translated novels, faster releases and also a nice website/app to read it all on.
Previously many translators had their own website where they published their translations. You needed a website like novelupdates to even find something new and worthwhile to read.
But then it was only drama after drama.
They forced those who didn't want to join them to stop translating, claimed that wuxiaworld actually hasn't any rights to translate their storys, bought the gravitytales site without telling anyone, first introduced the bonus chapters (last 2-4 chapters of a novel cost 4 SS or an ad to read) evolved that to the premium system (with 1 daily free chapter -> the oldest premium chapter of the novel goes free) and then also stopped the free chapters.
And that's only the biggest 'scandals' I can think of right now.
They always got quite a lot of criticism but either didn't care, guessed that the people will stay nevertheless or already calculated that this slow transition is the only way to establish Webnovel the way they want.
If there were a paywall at the beginning webnovel would never have grown to it's current size.
I personally think it's a pity that qidian wasted so much potential. Instead of focusing on the good novels and translating them properly, they just cram everything they can in our faces and hope that somebody gives them money for it. They don't care about those who don't pay, about the translation quality, about the translators who care for their work, or all the other issues that trouble the community.