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Mini programs are now a big thing in China. So what exactly are they?

Can these lightweight mini programs replace traditional app stores?

Mini programs were first pioneered by Tencent for WeChat in 2017. Unlike traditional apps, mini programs, also known as mini apps, reside within a native app (like WeChat) and can be accessed on-demand to perform a variety of functions like food ordering, ride-hailing, ticket purchasing, and many more.

To help get you up to speed on mini programs, be sure to watch our primer on the topic:

With a lower barrier to entry for developers, mini programs present an opportunity for businesses to access new customers. Today, many tech companies have created their own mini program ecosystems on their flagship apps.

So can mini programs replace traditional app stores?