Here is an overview for beginners to the WeChat platform on how to open an official WeChat account. This is one of the most frequently had discussions we have with prospective clients. As a non-Chinese entity, it can be more difficult but here we will explore your options.
In 2020, you can Register an Official WeChat account for Oversea Company:
- it depends on the country, your brand awareness and your Industry.
- The registration takes 1-2months.
- Need to provide a list of documents
- Business license
- Pricing start at 500$
- We can create menu
Contact us to know the details and how we can help you
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There is a clear division between how Chinese and non-Chinese operations are dealt with. For instance, If you have a CBL (Chinese business license) you can simply apply under your business name with a Chinese representative. On the other hand, if you are not a registered business in China there are a series of options that can be taken depending on budget, time frame, and your business concept.
WeChat’s penetration of Chinese Netizens reach 93% in China’s Top Tier cities.
Registering for a Wechat Official Account as a Chinese organization:
In order to register an official account through WeChat’s self-service platform, you will need the following:
- Chinese id (身份证 or shēnfèn zhèng)
- A Chinese mobile phone number
- (If you have) Chinese business license (营业执照 or yíngyè zhízhào)
- Chinese organization code (组织机构代码证 or zǔzhī jīgòu dàimǎzhèng)
The registration process is entirely in Chinese. Head to the WeChat public platform website for a step by step application.
From here the procedure is simple for Chinese registered businesses. Ensure you have a Chinese representative to manage the set up as their id photo and number is required.
You’ll then have to wait for verification and select whether you want to open a service or subscription account.
Typically opening a service account is the preferable option for most businesses.
Registering for an Official Account as a non-registered entity in China
Application via WeChat Directly
The honest truth is that the process for registration is a little unclear. Indeed, few guidelines have actually been provided and one gets the impression this is deliberate. The platform is selecting & prioritizing the most innovative concepts and adds opportunities through such a selection process.
Wechat has famously been reticent to discuss in depth how the application process works for foreign entities but here is the current protocol:
First, go to: wechat.com
You will need to outline to what how you plan to use your account, you need to pitch to them the business concept; how you will use the account and what the use of you being on WeChat actually is. Can you bring anything interesting to wechat users?
When it comes to proposals you can consider a number of factors:
- Design (htm5 format for WeChat)
- Page layouts
- Will the official account be connected to a WeChat store?
- What is your promotional strategy?
- And what is your proposed ad spend?
Business credentials are important, you need to include:
- A local phone number
- Business email address
- Documentation to prove the existence of the company (business license, tax form etc.)
To clarify, the more documents you can send, the better. Give copies of anything that further validates the existence of the business – even send business cards!
Budget 3000 RMB (USD 500 ) (2020 update)
Tencent team recommended a minimum of 200 000 RMB in ad spend) which will also need to be detailed. This includes moments ads & display ads.
It seems the platform is seeking to be selective when handing out applications to companies. For instance, company that are more likely to invest in innovation have more chance to succeed. Wechat is a hub of innovation, therefore presenting a strategy that demonstrates this is beneficial.
Similarly, in terms of accounts directly authorized by WeChat, larger companies are favored. Why? Because,they are believed to have the marketing resources to promote WeChat as a safe and trustworthy platform. Bear that in mind when applying. After your account is approved, WeChat will send your WeChat id and password, which you will need to log-in on admin WeChat platform
Meanwhile, you can check the progress of your application using your email address and application number here.
Alternatively, try to contact a WeChat representative for your country (a quick google search should pull them up!)
Service or Subscription Account?
While rehistering, you’ll have to pick a type of account. There are 3: service, subscription an enterprise account. Typically Service Account is best for most of the businesses.
Service Account (Recommended)
- Access advanced WeChat public platform features
- 4 broadcasts per month. Broadcasts are received from the business as a contact in the user’s message feed directly
- Business has a 48-hour window to reply to user messages
- Push notifications.
- Custom menus for all service accounts
- Payments (API) supported for all verified accounts
Subscription Account:(out of date)
- Better for businesses that want to put out content on a more regular basis (newsletters, e-mags etc).
- No Push notifications. Instead, your followers receive your content in a special section amoung others subcription account content.
- Business has a 48-hour window to reply to user messages
- Businesses must be verified and use WeChat API. No customization
- No support for payments
It is vital to mention whether you wish to have access to WeChat’s advanced features and developer tools. If it’s not in your proposal, it will more than likely be left out.
Setting up an account with a third party (avoid this solution in 2020)
The other strategy is to use a local third-party agent to set up an account, this would be hosted on your behalf. The plus is it’s the most convenient and fastest way to get set up. You don’t spend to much energy in paper work and get start quickly. However, you do not own the account, it is owned by the party that set it up.
Futhermore, with a third-party account, there is also a small chance that it will be shut down as the process is not fully authorized. Businesses doing this have to be aware of that risk. You cannot transfer or merge an account with another one in terms of followers as they are linked solely to the initial account set up.
Can Hong Kong Company register a Wechat Official account?
Hong Kong companies can apply for official WeChat accounts at present (although like with anything in China there is a possibility this might change). In short, if an entity can be registered in HK it can be a lot easier to apply for official account registration through a mainland representative.
As with many processes, the barriers to entry have thus far restricted many international brands from entering the Chinese market.
Wechat Account Descriptions
Once an account name has been created it cannot be changed; so be sure before starting the registration process. In the same vein, account summaries can be updated but only once per month. In addition, accounts cannot be attached or transferred to another account.
This highlights the importance of a proper initial set up.
To sum up:
WeChat is a great platform for marketing & business growth but it is one of many approaches that can be taken. It mainly depends on your budget and expectations. Baidu, E-Forums, PR & News Applications are also nifty ways of generating high levels of traffic, leads and for building your brand and reputation.
Need a Wechat Agency for create your Wechat official Account ?
You need to partner with a local agency who understand the frustrations and difficulties of doing business in this vastly different marketplace. We are an international team of 40 based in Shanghai who look forward to hearing more about your project.
- We already open 220 WeChat accounts
- Our agency has managed 800projects
- Contact us to speak with our consultant (email is better)