How To Create a WeChat Official Account?
To get started with your marketing strategy in China, every company should consider creating a WeChat official account. However, every business must understand the whole process from choosing the appropriate account type to meeting all the set-up requirements to ensure their strategy is a success.
This article contains useful information you need to know to about creating a WeChat official account.
What Is a WeChat Official Account?
WeChat Official Accounts are accounts used by famous people, governments, media, and enterprises for cooperation and promotion services.
The target audiences for these accounts include individuals, governments, other businesses or enterprises.
1. 3 Types of Official Account
There are 3 different types of WeChat official accounts: Subscription Accounts, Service Accounts, and Corporate Accounts.
Subscription and service accounts are more commonly used for business and communication purposes, while corporate accounts are created for the use of internal staff within an enterprise.
A subscription account allows users to push frequent content to their followers, so it is a means for media organizations or bloggers to interact and communicate with readers.
Service accounts are best fit for businesses to promote their products or services.
For more general information regarding the capabilities of WeChat official accounts, read The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat for Business.
Understanding the differences between these accounts and choosing the right type for your business is crucial to achieving your marketing objectives.
2. China Domestic Account Vs. Overseas Account
A China WeChat account is registered by users using a Chinese phone number (+86). Additionally, Chinese users don’t have access to overseas WeChat official accounts.
An overseas WeChat account is very different from a China official account. It is registered outside of Mainland China. Oversea users will log into an English language platform and have access to both China and their overseas official account.
For that reason, if foreign businesses create an overseas account, your account won’t be seen inside China. That means you can’t reach your Chinese target market with a WeChat oversea account.
However, it is impossible for foreign companies to create a China official account since you need a Chinese legal entity such as China Residence ID and a China mobile phone number.
A Chinese legal entity can also form a joint venture with a Chinese partner, or WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Own Enterprise), or companies that are part of a Chinese-global conglomerate.
So how do you create a WeChat official account that is visible in China?
How to create a WeChat Official Account?
1. Using an overseas license
Only businesses from these below countries and regions can apply for a WeChat official account with an overseas license visible to mainland residents. Only countries in this list are able to post content visible to Chinese users.
17 countries/regions: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, England, and Italy.
According to latest updates on 10/2/2018, if your company is from the following countries or regions: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan or South Korea, you can now register on your own. The process will be faster and cheaper compared to other international countries using overseas licenses.
Companies from other countries can create a WFOE, which is a limited liability company offering foreign investors the ability to enter the Chinese market. It gives investors the legal rights to do business in China.
Therefore, if you create a WFOE, you will have the necessary business license to create your own official account.
Pros and cons
To stay in accordance with local regulations, WeChat makes it quite difficult for foreign companies to create a WeChat official account. Creating a WFOE can be expensive and requires significant time and investment, while the overseas account opening process can also be difficult to manage.
As a result, the whole application process takes a lot of time and effort, normally 2-3 months to be completed. It also cost more than any other account application.
The good thing about this account is that it allows you to do WeChat Advertising. Also, you legally own the account and your account looks authentic to the customers.
2. Using a third-party Chinese license
Now, if you are not from one of the 17 regions, you must partner with a third-party Chinese company. They can apply for a WeChat China official account for you using their Chinese business license.
Pros and cons
This application process only takes 7 business days. Your account will have your company’s name, logo, and description, but it is linked to the legal entity that created the account.
Registering through a third party means that the account technically belongs to the third-party Chinese company. Third-Party Chinese companies must also be careful as they are liable for any content posted on the account.
One big con of this account is that it doesn’t allow WeChat advertising, so you have to promote through other means.
More than that, your industry may be different from your third-party company. This may leave your customers in doubt about the authenticity of your business. However, most users are accustomed to brands seeing marketing agencies linked to foreign brand pages. The use of subsidiaries can be confusing at times for users.
With that being said, this account gets you started fast. If your business is doing well in China, you then can start to build a company in China, or even start the overseas account opening process. When all the pieces are in place, you can transfer all your followers to that new account.
What do you need to create a WeChat China Official Account?
1. What are the requirements?
As mentioned above, you need to have either a Chinese business license or your own WFOE so as to register for a WeChat Official Account visible to mainland Chinese users.
Here is a list of the requirements:
- Chinese business license
- Chinese bank account of the company to pay the verification fee and receive the verification code
- A Chinese ID of a Mainland Chinese citizen (Chinese account operator) associated with a WeChat Payment account linked to his/her bank account.
- Desired display name
- Desired name of the WeChat ID
- Email address for the purpose of registration
- Addressing your account type: Subscription or Service
- Your business’s short introduction
- Profile picture
- Chinese landline phone number of your company (for verification call from Tencent)
2. WeChat Official Account verification
The purpose of WeChat account verification is to prove the information of an official account is genuine which allows users to be certain that an official account is authentic.
A verified WeChat account looks more professional and trustworthy in the eyes of the customers. Right now, WeChat verification is only available for Chinese service accounts.
Verified accounts provide even more services than official accounts. Additional services include:
- Users management
- Users location
- Custom menus
- Direct messaging
- WeChat payments, etc.
You can register for your WeChat official account with a Chinese business license via https://mp.weixin.qq.com/.
Latest Update (10/2/2018)
According to the latest notice of the WeChat team, an individual can only register a maximum of 2 official accounts now. For corporate organizations, the maximum number of registrations of official accounts will be reduced from 50 to 5.
Most importantly, Tencent has been constantly changing their regulations as of late. Therefore, it’s always recommended to have your updated information; For any questions, go to https://admin.wechat.com/ Or feel free to contact Dragon Social with your questions!
For foreign companies, creating a WeChat official account is a lengthy process, and can sometimes be quite complicated. You can either do it yourself or get help from the Dragon Social team. It is also crucial for companies without any Chinese entity to work with a trustworthy partner, who is responsible and bound by contract, to apply for a WeChat official account on your behalf.
While it may be tough, getting your name out on Chinese social media users can help build your brand in a whole new market. With the ongoing fragmentation of advertising channels, WeChat presents a strong opportunity for companies to reach out and begin building awareness in China.