Briefing: Tencent’s social app QQ to launch mini-programs

By Bailey Hu
1 min read

QQ 小程序将于6月上线,目前处于灰度测试 – TechNode Chinese

What happened: At a Tencent conference on Wednesday, QQ product manager Zhang Hao announced that the company’s longstanding social app is currently testing out its mini-program ecosystem, with plans to fully launch in June on iOS. The approach, first pioneered by WeChat in 2017, allows lightweight applications with a diverse range of functions to be accessed from within one app. The in-app ecosystem will reportedly support easy migration from WeChat mini-programs, making the transition easier for developers.

Why it’s important: The move by QQ isn’t unprecedented: in November, Tencent announced it was testing out mini-programs for Android, called “Light Applications” (QQ轻应用). Still, the latest move promises to bring WeChat and QQ even closer than before by offering extra functionality to the older platform. The benefit may not all be on QQ’s side, either: in its Q1 earnings report, Tencent said that the number of “young users” on the 10-year-old platform saw double-digit growth compared with 2018. At a healthy 823 million monthly active users (MAU), QQ also doesn’t measure up too poorly to WeChat’s billion-plus figure. The app’s adoption of mini-programs is relatively late in the game, however, with Tencent competitors Baidu, Alibaba’s Alipay and Taobao, as well as Bytedance’s Jinri Toutiao and Douyin already implementing similar systems.