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wechat setup guide
China is a country with over 1.4 billion people and more than half of them are using a super app called WeChat. Since launching back in 2011, WeChat has evolved from a simple messaging app to one that encompasses almost all aspects of life. Chinese users spend about a third of their smartphone time on WeChat to chat with friends, make voice and video calls, pay bills and even send red packets!
 
In the WeChat ecosystem, the WeChat Official Account represents the first opportunity for brands and businesses to capture, engage and convert their target audience. Thus, if you’re interested in the Chinese market & a WeChat Business Account, this is the guide for you.
 

What is WeChat? 

WeChat is not just another messaging app, it’s the super app in China. Its function covers those of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Apple Pay, Venmo, Tinder, Flipboard, Banking Apps & the App Store – it’s that powerful.

Wechat0

Like how WhatsApp differs from WhatsApp Business, WeChat has Official Accounts for business use along with their normal consumer accounts. Businesses use the WeChat Official Accounts Platform to manage them.

There are three main types of WeChat Official Accounts:

  • Subscription Accounts (订阅号)
  • Service Accounts (服务号)
  • WeChat Work (企业号)

wechat account type

Read on as we go through what each of these accounts entails and how to get started with one!


WeChat Subscription Account

WeChat Subscription Accounts tend to focus more on dispersing information and maintaining brand communication. As such, they are commonly used by celebrities or small single individual businesses that need to constantly post content to engage with the masses.
 
The WeChat Subscription Accounts work like a daily news feed. All updates go straight to the users’ subscription folder with no push notifications.

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Thus, replacing the use of email newsletters in China. Unlike Facebook and Instagram where posts on the timeline are prioritised by an internal algorithm, all WeChat posts will be in chronological order.
 
WeChat limited the number of posts to prevent incessant spamming by accounts in a bid to stay at the top of the WeChat search engine. As such, Subscription Accounts can publish once a day to subscribers, with up to 6 articles each time.
 

WeChat Service Account

WeChat Service Accounts usually used by small, medium or even enterprise size businesses such as airlines, cruise lines and hotels.

This is because unlike WeChat Subscription Accounts where you can only post updates, a WeChat Service Account gives you access to many more sales and service-oriented functions.

These include interesting features such as customer service, API integration, CRMs as well as opening a WeChat store and processing payments. Imagine adding your own Mini Programs and processing booking services, customer service functions and online check-in all from WeChat!

However, with a WeChat Service Account, you can only publish up to 4 times per month, with 1-6 articles each time. 

That being said, as the WeChat Service Account sits on the first level of contacts, you are no longer hidden behind the subscriptions folder. This means that when the posts are published, your WeChat Official Account will jump to the top of the contact list and a push notification will be sent.

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WeChat Enterprise Account

WeChat enterprise accounts are primarily for internal communication and management, similar to workplace apps like Slack. There are countless intonations and functions available, such as internal chat rooms, video conferencing and shared files.

Users of corporate accounts must be verified by internal staff in order to follow the corporate account. As such, they are not available to the public and are not used for marketing. 


Getting Started With A Verified WeChat Official Account

Compared to creating accounts on other instant messengers, a sign-up fee is charged for verified WeChat Official Accounts. You can choose to engage companies like SleekFlow to help you process your application. However, if you feel that you are up to the task, simply follow the steps below:

Step 1. Creating a WeChat Official Account

Creating the account itself is rather easy. Start by visiting the WeChat Official Accounts Platform page and click register now at the top.

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Select an account type

We’d advise you to open a service account, which is best of both worlds between supporting your customers and sending them marketing messages. 

wechat account type

Create a user account

Simply provide an email to log into and manage your WeChat Official Account. WeChat will then send you a verification code before you can proceed to the next step.

Wechat STep 1

Select your country

The next step requires you to choose your country from a dropdown list.

Wechat step 2

Then, you’ll need to confirm the type of account you are registering for. Click “Select & Continue”.

wechat country

Following, you will have to submit your business information for verification. The documents required to register your account are slightly different depending on if you are creating an account as a mainland company or as an overseas company.

wechat reg doc

Provide the identification information of the person who will operate the WeChat Official Account as well as the company that will own it.

To create your WeChat Official Account you’ll need to provide:

  • Your company’s
    • officially-registered name
    • registration number
  • The account operator’s
    • name
    • mobile phone number
    •  Passport ID number

Choose an account name

Once you have filled in all the required information, you will then create an account name. As this will become your WeChat account ID, make sure you put some thought into it! After deciding on an account name, you will need to write a short description for your account.

account name

Congratulations! You’re done creating a WeChat Official Account. You can now use the login details to enter the WeChat Official Accounts Platform. Once you’re logged in, you will receive the following notification:

wechat notification

Remember to verify your account! Because if you don’t, you cannot send any broadcasts until you verify your account. Yikes!

Step 2: Verifying Your WeChat Official Account

Did you think the hard part was over? Take a deep breath – and maybe a 5-minute coffee break – before we jump right back in!

The good news is that you can start the verification process right from the notification.

Input additional company info

You’ll need to fill in the following information:

  • Company
    • registration number
    • registered office address
    • office phone number
  • Scope of business (description of business activities)
  • Name of the bank your company is registered
  • Bank account number
  • Names of companies legal representatives (company directors names)

wechat verification 1

Validate contact person

Next, you will have to provide information about a company contact person. It is vital to fill in the information accurately and precisely. This is because the verification staff will contact you to go over the verification documents. 

You’ll need to provide:

  • Contact’s full name
  • Mobile Phone number
  • Verify with SMS
  • Email address
  • Landline phone number
  • Passport number

wechat verify 2

Upload supporting documents

Following, you’ll need to provide the supporting documents for all the information you have provided earlier on. Do note that you will have to scan all your documents in colour before submission to ensure a smooth verification process!

You’ll then need to provide:

  • Your Business license
  • A signed and stamped official application letter that can be downloaded from the system
  • Company contact’s mobile phone statement/bill which lists his/her name, phone number and payment history in the past 3 months
  • Company contact’s ID/Passport/Driving license copies, twice if it’s the same

wechat verify 3

Reserve your official account name

Once all the documents have been submitted, WeChat will ask for your account’s display name. We suggest going with “optional vocabulary” as you will not have to provide additional documentation. 

However,  if your brand name is trademarked, select “trademark name” instead and upload the relevant documentation. If you’re a news agency, use the “media name” option and upload your broadcast license.

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Pay the fee

Once everything’s done and submitted, you will be asked to pay a $99 USD fee. Do ensure that you enter the bank information given to you as is to prevent your payment from being rejected. A bank fee may be charged in the process.

In 5-10 business days, you’ll receive a call from a third party agency who reviews the documents.  

Now that you have a verified WeChat Official Account it’s time to integrate that to SleekFlow for support and marketing! Read more about that with our guide here.

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