"With WeChat moving towards solidifying the mini-programs position, there could be serious ramifications for Apple's service business, which it has been focusing on to counter plateauing hardware sales," TuanAnh Nguyen, an analyst at technology research firm Canalys, said in an email to CNBC.
"The advantage that WeChat mini-program brings is not only concentration of apps into one popular (platform), but it's very enticing to developers, especially startups and (independent operations) who have limited resources, to focus on 1 single 'app store,'" Nguyen said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment on this story.
Given their ubiquity across both Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems, "superapps" such as WeChat have "made the Apple ecosystem lock-in much weaker" in China in comparison to other parts of the world, resulting in an erosion of the competitive advantage of the Cupertino-based tech giant's hardware, he said.
WeChat has more than 1 billion monthly active users, according to Tencent. Known in China as Weixin, the mobile app is also used by many overseas Chinese and foreigners. It has evolved from recorded voice messages to a means of paying for store purchases and utility bills. Users can also access third-party services such as SF Express — a delivery company similar to FedEx — through WeChat mini programs.
"WeChat is your Facebook, your credit card, your Uber, your Amazon altogether." said Mengmeng Zhang, a Beijing-based analyst at Counterpoint Research. "Some even say China's operating system is WeChat, not (Google's) Android or (Apple's) iOS."