QQ came before WeChat and now it’s following its more successful sibling by diving into the world of mini-programs. In so doing, the messaging app, which recently turned 19, is hoping to get a new lease on life.

According to Tencent, the QQ Light Application (QQ轻应用) will focus on entertainment areas including “light games” and e-books.

Mini programs are like independent apps but can be launched directly from WeChat.

The formal debut today introduced new features including mobile payment services to QQ, marking a functionality expansion of the existing QQ Wallet.

The country’s more than 800 million netizens and high digitalization levels in general are encouraging the rise mini programs.

QQ Light Application’s release will make QQ the seventh application that supports mini programs and similar applications. In addition to WeChat, other Chinese social media and traffic giants such as AliPay, Baidu, Taobao, and TikTok and its sister company Jinri-Toutiao, are building their own mini-program like infrastructure.

According to a mini program report (in Chinese) released by market research company iResearch in March, users of WeChat mini programs surpassed 400 million in 2017.

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com

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