WeChat Mini Program Feature: Apple’s App Store In China May Take A Hit, Third Party Apps & Service Providers Also Worried

10 January 2017, 9:59 pm EST By Ritwik Roy Mobile & Apps

WeChat by Chinese tech giant Tencent has launched a mini-app feature that allows users to openmobile apps within WeChat and it can soon make Apple's app store in China shudder. The mini program feature has been embedded in the popular messaging app and users can open a set of mobile apps downloaded directly on WeChat.

As per a report on Sina news, the mini program feature is already supported by taxi-hailing app Didi Chuxing, restaurant review site dianping.com and popular online shopping platform JD.com. This means, users will not have to download these apps to their phone but can use them directly via WeChat, reports ZDNet. Experts believe that the WeChat mini program feature will benefit WeChat payment the most.

Moreover, the enhanced activities on WeChat will also help in its monetization. WeChat is an extremely popular and widely-used app in China and this new feature will have a massive impact on Apple's app store. Tencent had earlier revealed that in September 2016, WeChat daily users had crossed 768 million and 50 percent of the users spent 90 minutes on the app every day.

The WeChat mini program feature will also likely affect third-party apps and their service providers as Chinese consumers use these apps for their Android mobile systems. Google Play remains inaccessible in China. Hence, WeChat's new feature will become all the more popular. A counter-view has also been provided by tech experts who believe that the mini program will not become a trend as most of the apps on WeChat are merely simplified versions of them.

Users will still have to click the original app to enjoy all its functions. What is noteworthy is the timing of the launch of the WeChat mini program feature as it coincides with the 10th year anniversary of the iPhone, writes Forbes. Stay tuned on Mobile & Apps for more updates on the WeChat mini program feature.


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