AN OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF THE BAIDU MINI-PROGRAMS
Baidu is one of the biggest tech companies in China. Baidu with Alibaba and Tencent form the top 3 tech giants, and there are dubbed as China’s BAT. There is always fierce competition among these giants to outshine one another regarding valuation. Taking inspiration from Tencent’s WeChat, Baidu has finally launched its own Mini Programs last year. WeChat is the most popular product of Tencent, and Mini Programs is its most popular feature. Baidu has created a platform named “Baidu Smart Mini Program” where the external developers can create their own Baidu Mini Programs.
Challenging WeChat’s Superiority
Mini-Programs are applets that are generally smaller than 10MB in size. Due to their small size, they can run directly inside the main app, and you do not need to download and install. It is their instant use facility without taking up space in a smartphone that has made them extremely popular. Even since Tencent introduced Mini Programs in WeChat, the feature is growing exponentially and it has made WeChat a Super App. All the major brands and businesses have their mini-programs on WeChat where they are promoting and selling their products and services directly to the customers.
That is exactly why Baidu has launched its smart mini-programs platform so that it can create a Baidu Super App just like WeChat. WeChat currently has over 1 million mini-programs, and it has claimed the majority of the market share in almost all sectors in China. Baidu wants to challenge the superiority of WeChat and overcome WeChat as the best Super App in China. By opening the platform to the external developers, it wants to have some cool and intriguing mini-programs to grab the attention of the WeChat mini-program users.
Overview Of Baidu Smart Mini Program
Future Potential — Baidu launched its Baidu Mini Programs back in July last year. In the beta-phase of 2 months, Baidu claimed that there were over 100 million monthly active smart mini program users. Considering it to be true, it indicates that the feature is highly successful and has the potential to make Baidu Super app overcoming WeChat.
Open Source — Baidu Mini Program platform is a completely open source system which is catapulting its growth exponentially as the developers can create different types of innovative mini-programs for drawing the attention of the Baidu users. Not just that, many popular apps have joined Baidu’s open source alliance and bringing their exclusive mini-programs to expand their reach among Baidu’s existing users.
Scenarios — Baidu claims that in this short period from the launch of the feature, they already have over 100 situations where these mini-programs can be used. This means that the reach in the different sectors in China is increasing rapidly. Not just shopping, there are mini-programs for tracking weather conditions, road traffic conditions, personal productivity, and much more.
Tencent already has over one million mini-programs on WeChat which let the users do everything on the app. Therefore, the engagement time, as well as the revenue, has increased multifold. It is currently called the Super App of China because starting from social networking, instant messaging to e-commerce and digital payments, everything is possible.
Baidu can also be a super app in the near future given the way it is growing, and new mini-programs of different categories are uploaded. However, they might find it difficult to lure the WeChat users as WeChat is not just defined by mini-programs, there are a lot of new features to keep them hooked. It remains to be seen whether Baidu Super App can overtake WeChat Super App in the coming time.