How to Set Up WeChat Official Account for Overseas Companies

Since launching in 2011, WeChat has rapidly grown in size to become one of the largest social media platforms globally, and the most popular platform in China. It now has over 889 million active users (source: Penguin Intelligence, 2017), with many businesses looking to tap into this active market to reach out to a wealth of potential customers.

In the past, it has been very difficult for Western companies to set up an official account on WeChat. Even now, it can be complicated and stressful with many language barriers in place. Therefore, to make the process a lot easier, many customers choose to find a third-party Chinese company to set up their WeChat account for them. This means the WeChat account is owned by the Chinese company. The risk for using a Chinese company is that you cannot control your account anymore if the Chinese company closes down.

It is no longer the case that you will need a Chinese business licence when it comes to WeChat official account setup for overseas companies. Now, WeChat allows overseas companies to set up an account and get it verified by using an overseas business licence.

How to set up a ‘special’ WeChat official account which is visible in China?

You don’t have to be a Chinese business in order to reach into this community, although being able to understand the Chinese language can put you at an advantage in being able to make the most of the service. The process of registering for an account isn’t hugely straightforward, but if you do want to set up an account, then you can head to The only problem with doing this, however, is that the account won’t be visible in China – only outside of China. This isn’t good if you want to reach out to the large audience based within China.

Here is how we can help you to set up a ‘special’ WeChat official account that will be visible in China:

If you want a fully functional commercial WeChat account, you need to submit all required documents, and a one-off initial investment in WeChat advertising will be required by WeChat. The advertising investment can help you to target the huge amount of WeChat users by using WeChat advanced advertising technology, which can benefit your business. An annual verification fee is chargeable for overseas entities. WeChat changes their policies all the time, and the fee will be confirmed before you set up an account. It sounds a bit complicated, that is why we are here to help you go through all the process.

There is a lot to be said for having a verified account; the greatest being the trust it can help you build trust with Chinese users.

Service Account VS. Subscription Account

As part of your application, you’ll need to show how you plan on using your account. However, only service account is available for the ‘special’ overseas WeChat official account.

What is the difference between service account and subscription account? The difference in the two is that, with a service account, you have access to advanced public platform features, can have four broadcasts per month, get a 48-hour window in which your business can reply to user messages, push notifications, and have custom menus, plus API payments are supported.

On the other hand, a subscription account is better for businesses who are looking to publish content more regularly. It doesn’t offer push notifications and has no support for payments; however, it does still allow for a 48-hour window to reply to user messages. A subscription account doesn’t allow for customisation, and businesses must be verified and able to use WeChat API. It’s important to establish early on if you want to have access to WeChat’s developer tools and advanced features. You will also need to send off documents that show your credentials and validity as a business.

A WeChat verified account fully-owned by you can be a valuable marketing asset for any business, but as with all social media platforms, the proof of its success is in how effectively it is setup, established and run post-launch. At Market Me China, we can not only help you with setting up your WeChat official account, which will be visible globally (including in China), but we can also assist you with your Chinese social marketing activities. This will help you reach your goals and effectively communicate with Chinese audience. You can contact us to find out more here.


Latest news on WeChat Official Accounts:

Overseas WeChat Official Accounts are available for 100+ countries published 10 May 2018

UK and European Companies can now open WeChat Official Accounts published 25 July 2018