Speaking to RacingNews365, Zhou revealed when he found out about the surprise move.
“I didn't check that much [the reaction to Hamilton’s news in China] but people probably didn’t believe it, or 90 per cent of the people [didn’t believe it] when rumours came out,” he said.
“I know Marc, which is his [Hamilton’s] kind of management together with me. I text him before it, so I knew he was signing, it was a fact. I didn't tell anyone, but I was really shocked by the news.
“But I think the people back there [at Mercedes], it’s going to be even more shocking. I think as a driver, especially Lewis, I think he is seeing himself to retire as a Ferrari driver,” he continued.
“It’s very unexpected, most likely [I was] not expecting Lewis to retire as a Ferrari driver.
“People love to be retiring as a Ferrari driver, especially the World Champions but he announced it at the beginning of this season, which is still another season to go with his team, which is certainly a shock.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.