Tencent, the creator of WeChat, announced recently that they have started developing another service to support the famous messenger app. This service is called Xiaochengxu.
It provides tools for businesses to build sub-apps within WeChat. Users can now make services simpler to use without leaving the messenger.
The new WeChat app becomes an operating system because users would not need to leave to use other mobile apps.
According to Wang Xiaofeng, an analyst with Forrester Research in Beijing, "With everybody coming in to launch Xiaochengxu, WeChat will be much more than an app. It will become the entry point of the Chinese mobile Internet."
WeChat currently has 806 million users. However, the developers at Tencent want to make these users stick to using the app.
Internet users increased by only 34 percent in the first half of the year compared to 55 percent last year. This figure is causing developers to tightly compete for a market that is slowing down.
An analyst in Hong Kong believes that Tencent's new app will eventually lead to an app distribution business for the company, which is similar to the Apple Store.
Yan Zhanmeng, director of technology research firm Counterpoint Research, said, "With the advantage of more than 700 million active users, WeChat will be a strong newcomer to affect and even change the mobile app distribution market."
Morningstar's senior equity analyst Marie Sun thinks differently. She believes that Apple and Tencent are looking at two different markets.
She said, "The apps in WeChat will be more lightweight apps, and hence will not replace the need for app stores."
Feng Dahui, a former developer of health platform DXY, thinks that Tencent's new app will be a big help in the health sector and medical institutions because health care apps are too expensive.