Briefing: Baidu’s Smart Mini Programs is now accepting applications

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百度智能小程序开放申请 首批开源联盟名单公布 – Sina Tech

What happened: Baidu’s mini program initiative is now accepting applications. Developers can now create their own mini-app via the official web portal “Smart Mini Programs”. A number of mobile apps, including Baidu Tieba, Bilibili, iQiyi, Kuaishou, Moji Weather and Chinese Calendar (万年历), have joined Baidu’s open-source alliance. In the future, these apps will collaborate with Baidu on bringing the mini-program feature to their users.

Why it’s important: Baidu announced the launch of Smart Mini Programs in July. It claims to have amassed over 100 million monthly active users during the 2-month beta test phase. The mini-program project is expected to become fully open-sourced by the end of 2018. Baidu is building an open-source mini-program ecosystem that will likely challenge its fellow China tech behemoth, Tencent, who already offers more than one million mini-programs on its WeChat messaging app.