WeChat Official Accounts are an integral part of the marketing strategy for businesses entering in China. They are used as a multi-purpose tool and act as a complete marketing package for services like pushing online campaigns, gathering new followers, sending branded content, push notifications and service messages and redirecting followers to the company’s website or e-commerce store. Many WeChat Official Accounts appear under chats, which work in a similar fashion as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
These WeChat accounts grant basic features that let businesses interact with their followers such as sending group messages, managing comments, letting followers vote, drafting automated replies, customising menu, sending out official company statements and handling customer service.
The WeChat Official registration process is complex for overseas companies due to the laws and regulations pertaining to the media content, but it is an important marketing strategy to engage with the Chinese customers in an efficient way.
There are two options to register a WeChat Official Account for overseas company:
1. By using your overseas business licence: WeChat has a lengthy application procedure (takes about two to four weeks) with a $99 verification fee. This process lets loose of a third party structure.
Pros of option 1:
- You shall be the legal owner of the account
- The account will appear authentic since your name will be displayed under information
- WeChat Advertising shall be enabled
Cons of option 1:
- The annual verification fee ($99) will be higher than what Chinese companies have to pay (300RMB)
- Setting up this account will take up to four weeks
- Transferring to another legal entity is impossible
- Only cross-border payments are allowed
- Top-up fee for WeChat advertising is 50,000 RMB (and there’s a different application process for it)
2. By using a third-party Chinese license: The second option lets you have your own name, description and logo, however, the account will be associated with another legal entity.
This is a good way to step your foot in China. And if in future, you decide to create a company in China (and make another account associated with your company as the legal entity), then you can even transfer your followers from the old account to the new one.
Pros of option 2:
- It only takes a week to create this account
- You can transfer your account to other entities in Mainland China
- The top-up fee for ads is lower (2000 RMB)
Cons of option 2:
- The ownership belongs to a third-party Chinese company
- This account shall not be able to run WeChat ads
- Only Mainland China RMB payments are allowed
How to Register a WeChat Official Account with a local Chinese company
You can create a WeChat Official Account using WeChat’s website https://mp.weixin.qq.com.
Requirements to create an account:
- Business license of a Chinese company
- Access to their bank account
- Chinese ID of a Mainland Chinese citizen. The ID needs to be linked with a WeChat Payment account and that needs to be linked to their bank card
How to Register a WeChat Official Account
What do you need?
- Your email ID
- A Chinese business license
- Your organization certificate
- Your company’s Chinese landline phone number
- A local account operator (who has a WeChat account with WeChat payment option enabled)
- The account operator’s Chinese ID number and phone number
- WeChat Official Account details such as Name, Short Description, Logo
- Your company’s Chinese bank account details such as bank name, bank address and account type. (These details should match the details on the Chinese business license you’ll be using.)
Registering a WeChat Official Account
Go to https://mp.weixin.qq.com/ and click on ‘Register Now’.
Choose the account type to register.
Which Account Type should you go for? Preferably, if the main part of your business is content (for example blogs), then choose the Subscription Account. Or if not, then go for Service Account.
Once you choose an account type, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address and set a password.
You’ll get a verification email. Click on the link to verify. After verifying, you’ll be redirected to the website to choose an account type. (You’ll be given a warning that mentions the inability to change your account type afterward. But if you choose a subscription account, you can upgrade it to a service account later. However, vice versa is not possible.)
Select your company type and add details.
Lastly, verify WeChat bank account. You’ll get two options to do so.
Transferring some amount from your company’s bank to Tencent. With this option, you don’t have to verify your Official Account.
Tencent will transfer some amount to your bank account. Upon transferring, you will get a verification number in the note of the transaction. In this case, you will need to verify your Official Account within 30 days.
Still confused about How to Register a WeChat Official Account?
We at Digital Crew help overseas companies launch into Chinese market by providing a number of services such as WeChat Advertising and creation of WeChat Official Accounts.
Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org for all queries related to starting a WeChat account and taking your business to China.