WeChat is not the only platform supporting the instant-launch light applications, which is widely known as mini-programs. Leading Chinese internet companies are building their own ecosystem with Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba’s Alipay, and Baidu’s smart program in the leading positions.
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Another league of mini-programs worth mentioning is QuickApp, an application ecosystem launched by the nine major mobile phone vendors in China including Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, ZTE, Gionee, Lenovo, Meizu, Nubia.
WeChat Mini-Programs hit 470 million monthly users last year. Alipay’s mini-program saw MAU of 500 million as of April 2019. And, Baidu Smart Mini Program monthly active users reached 270 million in June 2019, up 49% QoQ.
For some companies, mini-program platforms have become the primary traffic driver, such as LY.com WeChat mini-program, Taobao Movies’s Alipay mini-program, and Baidu Wenku’s smart program.
Counting all WeChat mini-programs with over 1 million MAU, games, utility, and living are the top 3 categories in Jun 2019.
Counting all WeChat mini-programs with over 5 million MAU, living, games, and shopping are the top three.