WeChat to offer 580,000 mini programs in-app as Tencent steps up against Apple and Alphabet

Tencent Holdings’ WeChat app will now offer 580,000 mini in-app programs, rivalling Apple and Alphabet as it gives users an option to access a multitude of programmes without using an app store.

Programs will be able to run directly within the WeChat app, thanks to a development that means apps smaller than 10 megabytes can run within its interface on any device. 


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580,000 mini programmes are currently on offer which Hu Renje, WeChat’s mini program director has told the South China Morning Post were developed within one year, in comparison to the 500,000 apps which were published on Apple’s App store between 2008 and 2012.

According to the South China Morning Post, Hu says “the mini program is a brand-new product model which can seamlessly link the offline and the online together”.

The scheme has so far attracted 1mn developers.

In addition to bypassing the app stores, the programs also offer speed of access for users since they can be loaded instantly from within WeChat.

Currently Apple and Alphabet rely on their own app offerings to attract users to iOS and Android systems, so whether this creates damaging competition remains to be seen, especially since WeChat currently boasts 980mn users around the world.


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