Tencent Holdings’ Weixin – China’s dominant messaging app, which is known as WeChat outside the country – said on Thursday that average daily active users for its mini programmes hit 450 million in 2021.
That represents a 13% increase from a year earlier, much slower than the 33% growth in 2020, according to previous figures released by Tencent.
The mini programmes, which look and operate much like apps on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, but are less data intensive, are key to Tencent’s efforts to build its e-commerce operations.
Weixin added that the number of active mini programmes operated by overseas merchants increased 268% over the past two years, with total transaction volumes via those programmes growing 897% over the same period of time.
More than 700 million users have used Weixin mini programmes tailored to combat the pandemic, such as ones used to book Covid-19 tests used by authorities, it also said at its annual developers conference in Guangzhou.
Tencent saw revenue climb 13% in the third-quarter, the slowest growth since it went public in 2004, hurt by a regulatory crackdown that has impacted its games pipeline, as well as its app updates.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard