WeChat has launched “mini programs” – embedded apps which run inside WeChat and do not require downloading or installing.
WeChat is owned by Tencent and is China’s most popular messaging service, with over 840 million active users.
The new apps are not hosted in an app store and users have to search within WeChat or scan a QR code to use them.
After a user has made use of one of these “mini programs”, it remains listed in their WeChat app. It can be removed if needed.
There are numerous mini programs, allowing users to perform tasks like ordering a taxi or paying a restaurant bill.
According to TechCrunch, WeChat called them “mini programs” because Apple would not allow the company to use the term “App” to describe them.