WeChat, a mix of Tencent’s messaging, social media and electronic payment app, seems to be ignoring the App Store rules. But it’s so ubiquitous in China that Apple has to leave this slide. Compsmag, resumes reports from Information, considered the issues this could pose to Apple in the country.
WeChat itself is an app, but it allows users to access what the manufacturer calls Tencent mini programs. From the outset, it appears that Apple has recognized the potential of mini-programs to offer App Store-style services without playing according to the rules of the App Store. According to The Information, a team from Tencent visited Apple specifically around 2017 to reassure Tim Cook that the mini-programs were not apps. These mini programs were no threat. The argument then was that these mini programs were limited in functionality and did not even attempt to compete with full-fledged applications. Now they do it. Some mini programs include live video streaming and even augmented reality.