fbpx
WeChat Banner

If you’re interested in the Chinese market & a WeChat Business Account, this is the guide for you.

Companies all over the world are interested in creating a presence in China. One of the best ways of doing this is by using WeChat Official Account for Business. This guide is going to be a little more comprehensive than the others because WeChat is one of the more intriguing messaging apps.

What is WeChat? 

The 4 main panels of wechat

WeChat is just not another messaging app, it’s the super app in China.

If we compare WeChat to other social apps it would a combination of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Apple Pay, Venmo, Tinder, Flipboard, Bank of America App & App Store – it’s just that powerful.

That list seems ridiculously long and broad, but it is not an exaggeration. You will be able to find people close to you if you use the nearby feature like Tinder. Using top stories you are able to find trending articles just like Flipboard, except WeChat doesn’t scrape the internet, those articles were posted by companies in WeChat. 

But perhaps the biggest difference between WeChat and western messaging apps is WeChat Pay.

WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay Interface with QR Censored

 
Users of WeChat Pay can connect to their bank account and start using the WeChat Payments network. 
 
Unlike Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay and others, WeChat Pay works on the basis of QR codes. Because phones can both scan and display QR codes, all you need to have to either take payments or make payments is a smartphone and a WeChat account. There are no expensive terminals for businesses to buy or rent, allowing even the lowest volume street sellers to go completely cashless.

Because of payments, WeChat does not derive their revenues from advertising, unlike Facebook and Google. Their revenue is generated from transaction charges and the sales of financial products like savings accounts, insurance, and even small loans. Therefore pay per click advertising on WeChat is not especially targeted nor inexpensive. 

Why Use WeChat for Business?

Unlike other messaging apps, this is a very simple question to answer. If you’re looking to market or to support customers in China or Chinese customers abroad you definitely need WeChat Business.

WeChat is the most commonly used app in China with 973 Monthly Active Users. That means you’ll get access to about 74% of China’s 1.3 Billion people just through one app. Since most of everything can be done inside the app the average user spends about 70 minutes a day on WeChat. In China, the app accounts for 34% of all data transferred over the internet.

However, WeChat Business isn’t just about targeting Chinese users in China. It’s also about accommodating the massive Chinese diaspora around the world. More and more Chinese people are using WeChat to pay around the world. In Japan, the number of stores that accept WeChat pay increased 35x from 2017 to 2018.

Types of WeChat Business Accounts

WeChat Official Accounts Platform 

There are special WeChat Business accounts designated for business use. Known as the WeChat Official Account, businesses are provided with the WeChat Official Accounts Platform to manage them. There are 3 different types of WeChat Official Accounts: Subscription Accounts, Service Accounts & WeChat Work. Articles on the web usually refer to WeChat Work as Corporate or Enterprise accounts.

WeChat Subscription Accounts and WeChat Service Accounts allow users to build a relationship and communicate with their customers. WeChat Work accounts are to be used as internal company messengers much like Slack. We are going to cover Subscription and Service accounts.

What is a WeChat Subscription Account?

WeChat Subscription accounts are for celebrities or small single individual businesses that need to post a lot of content. Compared to other messaging apps business accounts WeChat Business Accounts have more restrictions designed to stop companies from creating a poor user experience with too many push notifications.

The beauty of the WeChat Subscription Account type is that you can send a mass broadcast once per day. And aside from just messages, you can even post 6 full articles, (blogs in WeChat) as long as you post them all at the same time. This may seem draconian but there is a reason behind the madness. These posts show up in WeChat Moments, roughly equivalent to Facebooks News Feed. WeChat Moments does not prioritize posts it thinks you will like. Moments simply shows posts from your friends and the accounts you are subscribed to in chronological order.

Having more articles posted is better for discovery as the WeChat search function also shows articles that are relevant to your search. If your objective is to get the most content into the WeChat platform as possible, this is the account for you.

WeChat Subscription Accounts from the WeChat Users Perspective

Subscription Accounts from the WeChat Users Perspective

Naturally, there are downsides to a WeChat Subscription Account. As shown above, subscription accounts are nested inside a folder on the contacts screen. Therefore a new message would not send this account to the top of your screen like a friend messaging you. But a Service Account can.

What is a WeChat Service Account?

WeChat Service Accounts are for small, medium or even enterprise size businesses. Unlike WeChat Subscription Accounts where you can only post, a WeChat Service Account gives you access to many more sales and service oriented functions. This means you are able to open a WeChat store, add your own Mini Programs (WeChat Apps) and access additional WeChat functions. 

Another important distinction is that Service Accounts sit on the first level of contacts, you are no longer hidden behind the subscriptions folder. Thus, whenever you send a broadcast, your WeChat Official Account will jump to the top of the contact list. But with great power comes great responsibility and WeChat limits you to 4 broadcasts per month. So make sure to use your broadcasts wisely.

Summary of WeChat Official Account Differences

Summary of WeChat Official Account Differences


Getting Started With A Verified WeChat Official Account

Compared to creating accounts on other instant messengers, things are complicated in China. The Chinese government needs to have control over the companies who can spread information on a mass scale. Thus, registering an Official WeChat Business Account and verifying costs money (~90USD) and requires you to provide documentation. If you’d like to register on your own, the steps are 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.

The first step to creating an WeChat Official Account is going to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform and clicking on Register Now

WeChat Official Accounts Platform.

Selecting an account type is the next step.

You'll need to choose between the different types of WeChat Official Accounts available.

Register a WeChat Official Account – Account Type Selection

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

Create a user account. 

All you need to do here is provide an email that you’ll be using to log in and manage you’re WeChat Official Account in the future. WeChat will send you a verification code and you’re on to the next step.

Select your country. 

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.

In order to register your WeChat Official Account you'll need to select the country of your company.

Register a WeChat Official Account – Country Selection

Provide your identification information. The next step is to provide identification information for the person who will operate the WeChat Official Account and for the company that will own it.

To create a WeChat Official Account you will need to provide your company name, registration number, account admins info, their mobile number and their passport number.

Register a WeChat Official Account – Identification Information

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

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

Choose and account name and provide a description. In this section you will create your account name. This will become your WeChat account id so choose wisely, and a short description for your account.

To create a WeChat Official Account you'll need to chose an account name. This will become your WeChat account id so choose wisely, and a short description for your account.

Register a WeChat Official Account – Account Information

That’s it! You’ve created a WeChat Official Account. Now you’ll be able to log into the WeChat Official Accounts Platform. Once you’re logged into the platform you will receive the following notification.

You won't be able to send any broadcasts from you're WeChat Official Account until you verify it.

Register a WeChat Official Account – Verification Required Notification

You won’t be able to send any broadcasts until you verify your account.

Step 2: Verifying Your WeChat Official Account

Did you think the hard part was over was over? 🙈 Luckily you’ll be able to start the verification process directly from the notification.

Input additional company info. You’ll be asked to include the following information:

  • Company registration number
  • Company office address
  • Company office phone number
  • Scope of business (description of business activities)
  • Bank name of company bank account
  • Bank account number
  • Names of companies legal representatives (company directors names)
To verify you're WeChat Official Account you need to provide the following information: Company registration number Company office address Company office phone number Scope of business (description of business activities) Bank name of company bank account Bank account number Names of companies legal representatives (company directors names)

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Additional Company Information

Validate the company contact persons information. This section is so the verification staff can contact you when going over your verification documents. You’ll need to provide:

  • Contact’s full name
  • Mobile Phone number
  • Verify with SMS
  • Email address
  • Landline phone number
  • Passport number
To verify your WeChat Official Account you need to provide the following information for the companies contact person: Contact’s full name Mobile Phone number Verify with SMS Email address Land line phone number Passport number

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Contact Person Information

Upload supporting documents. In this section you’ll need to provide supporting documentation for all the information you have provided. Please make sure to scan your documents in color before you upload them, not black and white. (We made this mistake) You’ll need to provide:

  • Business license
  • Official application letter which can be downloaded from the system, but needs to be filled out, signed & stamped
  • Contact’s mobile phone statement/bill which lists his/her name, phone number and payment history in past 3 months
  • Contact’s ID/Passport/Driving license copies, twice if it’s the same
To verify your WeChat Official Account you'll need to scan and upload the following documents Business license Official application letter which can be downloaded from the system, but needs to be filled out, signed & stamped Contact’s mobile phone statement/bill which lists his/her name, phone number and payment history in past 3 months Contact’s ID/Passport/Driving license copies, twice if it’s the same

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Upload Documents

Reserve your official account name. At this stage, WeChat will ask you what you want your accounts display name to be. We recommend using optional vocabulary because no additional documentation is needed. If your brand name is trademarked, use the trademark option and upload the relevant documentation. If you’re a news agency, use the media name option and upload your broadcast license.

To verify your WeChat Official Account you'll need to select a display name. We recommend using optional vocabulary because no additional documentation is needed. If your brand name is trademarked, use the trademark option and upload the relevant documentation. If you're a news agency, use the media name option and upload your broadcast license.

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Chose Display Name

Pay the fee. Once you’ve gone through the entire process you’ll be asked to pay the fee of $99 USD.

The invoice you'll receive when you verify you're WeChat Official Account.

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Pay The Invoice

Make sure to enter the bank account information precisely as given or your payment will be rejected. You may encounter a bank fee in this case.

You'll need to send a wire transfer to this address to verify your WeChat Official Account.

Verify a WeChat Official Account – Bank Account Info

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll receive a call from a third party agency who reviews the documents. This call will come in 5 to 10 business days. Our agency was located in Chengdu. Surprisingly this call was the least painful part of the process. Their English was good, and they helped us to revise our application to make sure our account was verified.

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.

Our Newest Stories

Bring More Customers with Chat Automation.

Instant Set Up. Cancel Anytime.
Start Building Your Messaging Workflow Today.

en_USEN
zh_HKZH zh_CNCN en_USEN