Updated 26 December 2017: This article has been updated to correct the statement that WeChat’s mini apps use H5. The mini apps use a special framework designed by Tencent based on JavaScript. 

Christmas is here! If you’re in China surrounded by excited WeChat friends sending out greetings chances are that you might already be sporting a Santa Clause hat on your WeChat profile photo. Behind the Santa hat craze on WeChat lies the success of WeChat mini apps.

The Santa hats were initially surrounded by April Fool-like tricks and rumors. Users would ask WeChat friends with Santa hats on their profile pictures how they got them and were fooled by their friends to write “Please give me a Christmas hat @WeChat official” on their WeChat Moments, a function similar to Facebook’s wall. Soon enough everyone’s Moments were filled with Santa hat requests but those who joined the bandwagon quickly realized that nothing actually happened.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com