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TLDR: gladly sharing here a toolkit made for anyone planning to launch an app for China’s super app: WeChat 微信 and its powerful Mini Programs 小程序.

👉 Hit this link to open the WeChat UX Kit on Figma

What’s included?

This tool includes over 100 components replicating WeChat, the Chinese super-app and its infamous mini-programs. It also features exclusive components of the trendy WeCom platform (formerly named WeChat Work, i.e the enterprise version of WeChat).

What is it for?

With this exhaustive list of assets, total beginners can bring together wireframes (low fidelity screenshots) and demonstrate a WeChat user journey in the most efficient manner through Figma. …

Getting the best tech talents in China is a fierce battle. Great partners repeatedly confided with me this year about their anxiety on this human challenge.

Some of them have pledged billions to this strategic market yet still struggle to attract the next generation of technical leaders, who are invariably flocking to the local juggernauts: Alibaba, Tencent, Bytedance, & co.

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What “great” companies in China all have in common:

  1. a strategic stance on big data used to fuel their innovation engine
  2. the intent to hire top tech experts to design superior products — possibly a real challenge for all kind of companies…

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We’re all seeking for additional #velocity and #productivity to release our next apps. Following up on the Best Frameworks to develop a Mini Program, this time I curated the most popular UI libraries to help you speed up your projects.

Need a calendar, slider, or accordion? Stop reinventing the wheel 😉 Start with a UI library!


Table of Contents

  • WeUI by WeChat
  • Vant by Youzan
  • Wux
  • Color UI

WeUI by WeChat

The UI library by WeChat official design team, including useful widgets/modules. A little plain, but super classic. Your visitors will feel at home. …

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Mini Programs (apps within the WeChat app) are a very young tech ecosystem: less than 2 years old! However, given China scale and China speed, its 1.5M developer’s community* already gave birth to useful front-end frameworks for additional productivity. (*claimed by Tencent in July 2018)

After hosting two WeChat developers meetups in China, an increasing number of startup teams and individuals have been reaching out and asked:

What are the best tools to build WeChat mini programs?

This article is an attempt to answer this question for everyone.

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Meetup for WeChat entrepreneurs and developers in Shanghai, China (Sept 2018) —

No doubts, in 2018 we all had pressure to deliver Mini Programs faster than the year before. The frameworks below offer velocity and interoperability for a shorter go-to-market. …

In August 2018, I was celebrating my China’s 7-year anniversary. 7 years of continuous learning in the fastest-growing economy of the world. Gosh, I have been challenged *every*single*day* here!

Believe me (or not), China is the center of what’s happening. If you dream big, if you’ve ever planned to conquer the World, or at least if you want to up-skill your game, you should be in China now.

  • The 19th century was the Victorian era, the industrial revolution: you had to be in the UK.
  • The 20th century was the PC era and dot-com craziness: Silicon Valley or NY USA were the places to be. …

On May 19th in Beijing Y Combinator held it’s “Startup School,” a highly anticipated event for the Chinese startup space.

The prestigious Tsinghua University hosted nearly 300 entrepreneurs in an event, all curated by the team, which involved a social media application process with thousands of entries.

Amidst all this buzz, here I am, the Shanghai-based nerd queuing to enter the conference hall — and wondering if I’ll understand much of the Chinese keynotes planned that day.

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Hey, I’m not the red dress but the laowai dude in the white shirt

Although my face doesn’t show it at this exact moment, I was genuinely happy to be here. Actually, I discovered participants flew from Singapore, Hong Kong, Chengdu just for this 4-hour masterclass in the capital! …

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Below is a non-exhaustive list of English-language resources to follow what is going on within the Great Firewall of China.

It’s particularly striking to witness how low the awareness is amongst foreigners about Chinese tech juggernauts ; the BATX (Baidu Alibaba Tencent, Xiaomi). The GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) is capturing all westerners’ attention span and it’s natural that very few of them know about the Chinese ecosystem.

To be fair, China’s unique tech space is hard to comprehend when you are not living it. It’s been 7 years for me, and I’m often flabbergasted.

For the past 2 years, I have been involved with Le Wagon, a global training program operating in China and 19 other countries. …

Retrospective 2017

15 months ago I announced the opening of a new kind of coding school in China. Shortly after, the Le Wagon coding school was granted the title of #1 coding bootcamp worldwide by specialized media, and all around the World our fast-growing network continued its mission in 2017: bring very practical skills to all entrepreneurs.

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Le Wagon (summer 2017) — Chinese entrepreneurs in team work

Anyone who has experience in mainland China knows how fast things can go.

Guanxi and WeChat groups get you literally dozen of new meetings per week, acquaintances leading to cooperation then to business and always more connections.

The Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation movement has put our mission on a high-speed train. In May 2017, the official support from the Shanghai Technology & Sciences commission was a clear sign of trust in our actions from the government. …

Here’s what we found, and how they really differ with WeChat.

A little bit of context

With 520 million registered users reported, Alipay has currently released around 60 mini programs available to users.

These mini programs fall into one of three categories:

  • developed solely by Alipay;
  • developed in collaboration with another Alibaba-owned enterprise, such as Taobao or Youku;
  • or they were developed in collaboration with few third-party companies, such as Didi Chuxing, Airbnb, Ctrip etc.

Here’s where to find them:

  1. In Alipay, search “小程序” or “Mini Programs”
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2. Once you’ve started to use any, a new 小程序 tab appears in your “Friends” list

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3. From offline QR codes, obviously! …

China’s top messaging app WeChat rolled out something quite radical: mini-programs; a.k.a embedded APPs which require no download, no install. Open. Use. Share. Done!

At the moment of this article, it is considered mini-programs can do 80% of what native apps are doing, with only 20% of the development efforts!

“It’s far quicker than react native for development”, the CEO of Rikai Labs David ‘DC’ Collier said. “It solves most of the problems of phonegap / browser apps.

Despite the debate — and the many clickbait headlines — on the success or failure of this new channel, many believe in its potential. We at Le Wagon think its adoption depends on the hackers who will be the first to release smartly designed new services. Many are yet to be made. …


Thibault Genaitay

Bringing tech skills to creative people, one bootcamp at a time.

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