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    How do I register an official WeChat account as a foreign company?

    12 March 2018

    WeChat is now China biggest multi-purpose social media platform. With 1 billion active users monthly, WeChat is THE platform used by Chinese customers to follow and interact with their favourite brands. It’s vital for businesses who want to engage with their Chinese consumers to have an official WeChat account.

    What type of Wechat account should I get?

    There are three different types of WeChat official accounts:

    1. Subscription paid account
    2. Service account
    3. Enterprise account

    Enterprise account is designed for internal management of companies. It requires the account owner to approve the followers, so the content will be limited to authorised users only. Therefore, most companies will usually choose either Subscription or Service account.

    Now, what’s the difference between the Subscription and the Service account? In a nutshell, the Subscription account enables you to post more frequently (daily), while Service account only allows you to post 4 times/ month. However, notifications for any updates on Service accounts will appear directly in user’s conversation log, whilst the posts from a subscription accounts are limited in a subscription folder without any visible notifications on WeChat main operation panel. Furthermore, many of WeChat unique features such as CRM, custom menus are only available to Service accounts.

    In general, if your product offering is content centred (e.g. Media, KOL, newspaper and magazine etc.), you should go for the Subscription account. In other cases, especially when you run an eCommerce business, Crayfish will suggest that you open a Service account.

    How to register an official WeChat account?

    There are two main ways for overseas companies to register an official account on WeChat.

    Option 1: Register an international account using your own oversea business license.

    It’s a longer application process (2-3 months) and costs more than 1000 USD to open. It does have some great advantage to control the account completely, although it also has some drawbacks:

    • Higher annual verification fee charged by Tencent (operator for WeChat)
    • Taking 2-3 months to setup
    • Registering through qualified agencies only
    • You can only register service accounts (not subscription) through this route, and there are some restricted features.

    Option 2: Use a 3rd-party Chinese license to create the account.

    Most companies adopt this method, in which case, your account will have your name, description and logo, but will still be linked to the legal entity which created for the account. It is a lot quicker (within 2 weeks) and it costs much less compared to the overseas account.

    The main requirements to create such an account are:

    • Business license of a company in China
    • Access to the bank account of this company (the verification fee has to be paid by this company, or a small amount is sent to the company’s account as a “verification code”)
    • The Chinese ID card of a Chinese citizen with a WeChat Payment account linked to his/her bank card

    This creation process usually takes around 1 to 2 weeks and the only costs (if you handle it on your own) is a 300 RMB verification fee (about $50 USD)

    What’s the next step?

    Crayfish usually suggests that any company without legal entity in China to register through 3rd-party Chinese license. Furthermore, you could verify your WeChat account once it’s set up. Verification is only currently available to Chinese official accounts.

    Our freelancers and partners are able to help you to prepare these relevant documents and manage their final submission. We also offer a managed package service which includes account set up via Crayfish and WeChat platform management.

    If you are interested, why don’t you post a project on Crayfish.io now? You can see some budget suggestions on our Digital Marketing page. We are also very happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us.

    By Crayfish

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