With a monthly user base of more than 1 billion people, it’s no surprise that WeChat has become the most widely-used and successful marketing tool in China. From a company perspective, WeChat has proven to be a valuable way to get customer exposure and gain market insight. Today, we’ll be sharing WeChat’s greatest feature for any company looking to do business in China: the WeChat Official Account.
What is a WeChat Official Account?
Can Foreign Companies Get an Official Account?
- A foreign business license
- A Foreign phone number
- A foreign passport or driver’s license
The full application process takes about 2-3 months. After which, a foreign company can enjoy the following benefits:
- WeChat Advertising
- Instant Store
- Customer Service
- Voting Management
- Template Message – Chatbox
*Please note that if your company plans on setting up a Chinese entity in Mainland China, it is highly recommended to wait until then. A local account comes with more benefits than a foreign account.
How to set up the Foreign Overseas Account
1. Go to https://mp.weixin.qq.com/ and click the Register button.
2. Select either a Subscription Account or a Service Account
Subscription Account *
This type of account allows you to send one message per day, making it great for creating and maintaining a consistent relationship with your followers.
This option is great for E-commerce or companies looking to regularly share promotions, articles or post about upcoming events. However, it is important to note that a Subscription Account does not support WeChat Payments or vouchers.
If your company is interested in collecting user data, be aware that this type of account has limitations on functions such as geo-localization (a feature that allows you to know where users are connecting from) and multiple QR codes (allowing you to analyze where the traffic is coming from).
While a service account limits your audience communication to only four messages per month, the account will appear in the “Friends” chat section, which guarantees greater visibility.
The Service Account also allows you to collect information about your audience such as geographic location and multiple QR codes to find where traffic is generated. Some companies find this information especially valuable for planning their future marketing strategies.
*Please note, a company with a foreign business license can only apply for Service Account.
3. Enter your email address, click “send code” and then enter the verification code sent to your email.
4. Set a password for your new account, agree to the terms and conditions and click “Register”.
5. You will then be directed to the “Select Type” tab where you can enter your company’s country of origin, and other details.
6. Create your account profile.
7. Verify: note that verification costs 99 USD per year.
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