Chinese search giant Baidu has launched an RMB 1 billion (around $140 million) mini-program fund targeting startups and developers to accelerate the construction of its mini-program ecosystem.

The innovation fund will be used to design and host open online courses and seminars, as well as offline workshops catering to developers. The company plans to assemble a team of mentors that will coach budding mini-program developers, Shen Dou, vice president of the company said at the launch event in Beijing, reports NetEase Tech.

Chinese tech giants are aggressively exploring the potential market for mini-programs. Companies including Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance have incorporated the feature into their apps.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen