The mini app ecosystem on Tencent’s messaging app WeChat is posting solid user base growth despite rising competition from a number of other major platforms, according to a recent QuestMobile mobile internet report for the first half of the year.

Why it matters: Growth in users for WeChat’s mini apps continues to rise in spite of increased competition from major mobile platforms, according to data in the report released Wednesday. Apps including Douyin, Taobao, and Alipay have all launched their own mini program ecosystems within past 12 months.

  • WeChat was a first mover and debuted mini programs on its platform in January 2017. Alipay and Taobao joined suit in September 2018 and Douyin in October.

Details: The number of WeChat mini programs with more than 1 million active users (MAU) doubled year on year to 883, and those with more than 5 million MAU increased by more than a third to 180, according to the report.

  • The composition of mini programs with more than 1 million MAU shifted in the past year. Apps which are utility tools—translators, calculators, notebooks—increased to 12.3% in June 2019 from 7.7% in June 2018.
  • Meanwhile, the percentage of video-streaming apps increased to 5.1% by June 2019 from 1.6% the same time last year.
  • For the most popular mini programs, the most substantial change came from mini games, which plummeted by nearly two thirds to 13.3% of all mini programs with 5 million MAU in June 2019 compared with 36.8% in June 2018.
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Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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