Tencent today unveiled a raft of new initiatives for third-party vendors of WeChat mini-programs to help more businesses establish an online presence on the Chinese lifestyle platform.

The company will accelerate approvals for mini-programs going forward as part of the plan, Tencent announced at the WeChat Open Course event in Shanghai.

“WeChat will help service providers to upgrade from technical supporters to become comprehensive solution providers,” WeChat executive Kero Zheng told TechNode.

“Customization, specialization, and collaboration are going to be the label of professional services providers in the future,” he added.

First launched in 2017 as stripped-down versions of apps that run within WeChat, mini-programs have become a major source of traffic for many services in China with over 2.3 million such apps serving more than 681 million active users per month, according to QuestMobile data.

WeChat’s maturing mini-program ecosystem is increasingly attracting attention from third-party companies providing services including mini-program development, logistics, payments, customer relationship management and digital marketing.

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