With this simple guide we want to explain how to create a WeChat account that can be used by your company, or rather, an official account.
Let’s start from the beginning: what are the official WeChat accounts?
Official WeChat accounts are the WeChat equivalent of a Facebook business page: an interface that a company can use to:
- Gather followers
- Publish news
- Send them messages
- Redirect them to a website/e-commerce site
These accounts are different from the personal accounts that some of you probably have, in fact, the personal accounts have rather limited functions and similar to those of WhatsApp.
Before opening a WeChat account you will have to decide which type of official account you want to open, in fact, there are two types of official WeChat account:
- WeChat Subscription account (订阅 号)
- WeChat Service account (服务 号)
Here is a simple chart that helps us understand the real differences between the two accounts:
Basically, the only real advantage of the WeChat Subscription account is the possibility to publish articles more frequently. This fact can be relevant if you are a Media company or need to publish a lot of content.
In most cases, the purpose of owning a WeChat account is to increase sales, so the most logical choice is the service account.
Now let’s see how to create a WeChat account.
The following instructions are valid for opening an account “local” or registered in China. It is possible to open “overseas” accounts but this type of account is not covered in this article.
As for local accounts, in order to comply with local regulations in terms of media content, Tencent makes it difficult for foreign companies to create WeChat official accounts. In recent years, in particular, it has been increasingly difficult to obtain the licenses necessary to open WeChat accounts, this has led to an increase in costs for opening and maintaining accounts.
The only way to have direct ownership of a WeChat account is to open a company in China and then link your WeChat account to it. This practice requires a rather long time (at least 6 months) and a certain cost for both opening and maintaining the company.
The quickest way to open an official WeChat account (1-2 weeks) is to use a third-party Chinese license to create the account. In this case, your account will have your company name, description, and logo, but will be linked to the legal entity that created the account.
This is a good way to get started quickly. If things are going well and you decide to set up a company in China later (which will then obtain its own license), you will be able to transfer your account to the new license. In any case, the use of third-party licenses is the most common practice adopted to open WeChat accounts.
The main requirements for creating a WeChat account:
• Commercial license of a company in China (营业 执照);
• Certificate of the organization 组织 机构 代码;
• The company’s Chinese landline telephone number (to receive any verification call from Tencent);
• Access to the bank account of this company (the verification fee must be paid by this company or a small amount is sent to the company as a “verification code”);
• The Chinese ID (身份证) of a Mainland Chinese citizen with a WeChat payment account linked to his credit card;
Here are the steps necessary to create a WeChat account.
1. Log in to the WeChat website and click on “Register”
2. Chose the kind of WeChat official account you want to open.
3. Insert email and password and click on 注册 to register the account.
4. Check your mailbox (including spam mailbox) to find a verification message. Click on the link to verify your email address.
5. After clicking on the link, you will be taken to a page to choose the type of account.
6. A notice informs you that once you have chosen the official account type, you cannot change it later.
7. Chose your organization type.
8. Insert the company info.
9. You have 2 options to verify your bank account:
a. Make a money transfer (usually with less than 1 RMB) from your company’s bank to Tencent. By doing this, you don’t need to verify your official account.
b. Tencent will make a transfer to your bank account and you will have to verify the bank account through a verification number that you will find in the note of the transaction.
10. Insert the account operator’s information.
11. Confirm the company name.
12. Enter the name of the account that will be visible to the public – remember to always enter the Chinese name of your company and also the one in Western characters.
13. Click on “confirm”.
14. Depending on what you have chosen to do in step 9, you will have to send a specific amount to Tencent to verify your current account (option 1- recommended) or proceed with the account verification.
At this point, Tencent will pass your application on to a third party verification company. They will call the account operator to verify the information within 1-5 business days. Make sure the account operator is aware of the full legal name of the company, the registered address of the company and other information related to the official account.
So that’s it! The creation of your WeChat account was successful!