How to Enter China Market and WeChat Official Account

A welcome news to many foreign brands - Tencent now allows overseas business to set up their own WeChat 微信支付香港Official Account to reach mainland Chinese WeChat users.

Anyone who has set foot in China will be aware that China’s super app WeChat is the top of the priorities for brands hoping to enter China market.  WeChat now counts 1 billion monthly active users (MAU) worldwide.  Chinese users spend over three hours a day on WeChat versus just 20 minutes Americans spend on Facebook.  No wonder WeChat official accounts 微信支付錢包continue to increase in importance and effectiveness in brands' marketing strategy in China.

The most frequent inquiry I’ve had over the past few years is “can I set up a China-accessible WeChat Official Account if I’m a foreign company outside China?” Many foreign brands have long been forced to go to the extent of registering a China-based entity, or hire a ‘trusted partner’ in China who effectively owns your account no matter how much you’ve invested in building it.  Now, that has finally changed!

We’ve gone through the application process and would like to share the experience with anyone who also feel interested in registering this new type of WeChat Official Account owned by foreign company.

WeChat Official Account Platform Application Process

To start the WeChat Official Account registration process, please google: wechat official account platform.  Note that WeChat blocks all the URL so please leave us a message if you can find the site.
The application is quite straightforward.  Just follow the instructions such as entering your email addresses, selecting your regions, inputing the business and administration information, etc. Some key points are highlighted as below:
  1. Although you can see four account types, there is only one option for overseas company -  the Service Account.
  2. WeChat Official Account supports more than 200 countries to register.
  3. Most of the major features are included, such as 4 messages per month, chat list, etc.  However, access to advanced APIs and WeChat Pay are currently not available.

WeChat Official Account Verification Process

After you successfully create an official account, you need to verify it; otherwise, you are temporarily unable to use the broadcasting function or advanced function of the Official Account Platform.  And if you fail to apply for WeChat authentication within 30 days, your official account will be canceled.

The following company information is required for verification:

Company Information

             Full company name
             Company registration number
             Company registration address
             Office address
             Office phone number
             Scope of Business (can put “None” if the business license didn’t put it)
             Company bank account including bank name, account name, account number
             Legal Representative

You also need to assign one validate contact person.  The contact information is only for the verification review.  You can use the same person for both the administration and contact person.

The Contact Information

  • Contact’s full name
  • Phone number
  • SMS verification code
  • Email address
  • Office Telephone
  • ID/Passport/Driving license number and copy

Furthermore, you need to upload the following files:

Upload the Required Files
  • Business license
  • Official application letter which can be downloaded from the system, but needs to be filled out, signed & stamped
  • Contact person's mobile phone statement which lists his/her name, phone number and payment records from the past 3 months
  • Contact person ID/Passport/Driving license copies
  • Company office telephone statement (optional)
  • Other certification documents (optional)

Finally, you can now set up the name of your WeChat Official Account and pay $99 USD in total for the verification.  It usually takes another 1-5 working days for Tencent’s approval.

Having a WeChat Official Account is just the first step to reach Chinese consumers.  Maintaining content for a WeChat account is actually not cheap, not to mention adding influencer marketing, paid media or promotion to increase engagement.  Unless you can provide a genuine incentive or good content for audiences to stay with you, you will only struggle along with few followers or low engagement, just throwing good money after bad.