As China’s biggest social media app, WeChat is the place to be for international brands looking to make some noise in China.
But with over 1.2 billion monthly active users, how can new brands get their voices heard on this highly competitive platform?
Well, to start with, a WeChat Official account is a must.
They’re how users on the platform interact with their favorite brands, and how businesses build a direct (and very lucrative) relationship with their customers.
There’s a problem, though: creating a WeChat Official account is a complicated process for non-Chinese brands.
That’s why, today, we’re going to show you exactly how to create a WeChat Official account overseas, step-by-step — to help you make the most of China’s most powerful platform.
Then let’s dive right in.
What are WeChat Official accounts?
WeChat Official accounts (or WeChat Business accounts, as they are also known) are verified company accounts on WeChat that can be used as a brand’s…
- Customer service center
- Landing page
- Booking system
- E-commerce store
- And so much more
Think of them as the Chinese equivalent to a Facebook page — where brands can gather followers, share content, interact with fans, send push notifications, and generate leads all in one place.
How to create a WeChat Official account overseas
There are two ways to create an international WeChat Official Account:
- Directly, via WeChat
- With an external partner, like AdChina.io
In this section, we’ll be breaking down both routes to making a WeChat Official account application — covering every step, along the way.
Here’s how to create an international WeChat Official account directly through WeChat
Step 1: Register an account on WeChat’s Official Account platform
First, follow this link (mp.weixin.qq.com) and click ‘Register Now’ in the top right corner. You can also select to translate the page to English in the top right corner, too.
Step 2: Pick your account type
Select the ‘Service Account’ option — this is the default (and only) Official account type available for overseas businesses.
It’ll let you:
- Provide a service or tool to your customers (like a booking form)
- Share valuable content with WeChat Official account followers
- Send 4 push notifications each month (sent directly to users as regular chats)
- Appear natively in the WeChat feed (as opposed to in the ‘subscription’ folder)
- Customize your profile features
- Access WeChat advertising options
Step 3: Fill in the registration form
This is very simple. All you’ll need is an email address that’s not been previously registered on WeChat.
Simply fill in your email address, verify it, and create your password.
Step 4: Confirm account type
You’ll then be asked to confirm your choice of registering a Service Account.
Remember, this is all that’s available to international brands, so there’s not room for any confusion here!
Step 5: Register your Official account
Next, it’s time to register your account.
You’ll need to provide:
- Your company name
- Company registration number
- The administrator’s name (the person who will be running the account)
- Mobile number of the administrator (which you’ll need to verify)
- The administrator’s ID card number, passport number or driver’s license number
Then, click continue.
Step 6: Fill in your account info
At this stage, you’ll need to:
- Choose a name for your WeChat Official account
- Write a bio/introduction
- Confirm the country your business operates from
Tip: You should write your bio in Mandarin to make sure your audience understands it.
Step 7: Verify your WeChat Official account
After completing your account info, you’ll then have access to the WeChat Official accounts platform. Here, you’ll be able to verify your account.
This is important, as unverified accounts are deleted after 30 days. They also have limited access to core features, including a verification tick.
To verify your account, click on the ‘WeChat verification’ option under the ‘Settings’ menu.
Then, click ‘Enable’ on the verification page you’re taken to.
Step 8: Begin the verification process
After clicking ‘Enable’, you’ll then be prompted to download the verification letter, and begin the formal application process.
Step 9: Complete and sign the verification letter
The verification letter will ask you to confirm:
- Your company name
- A point-of-contact
- The passport number
- Country of citizenship
- The WeChat Account ID
It’ll then need to be signed by a legal representative of your team, as well as by the contact person.
Be aware that your point-of-contact doesn’t have to be the account administrator you confirmed in step five. It can be if you want it to be, but it’s not a requirement.
You should print the verification letter, sign it, and then scan and send it back into your computer, ready for the next step.
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Step 10: Fill in the requested information for verification
To verify your company, you’ll need to provide its:
- Company registration number
- Company address
You’ll also need to upload a scanned copy of your business license, and a copy of the verification letter completed in the previous step.
To verify your point-of-contact, you’ll need to provide:
- Their full name
- Mobile number (which will need to be verified via SMS)
- Landline number
- Email address
- ID card number, passport number and/or driver’s license number
You will also be asked to upload copies of their identification and most recent mobile phone bill.
All documents must be uploaded in English, and the mobile phone bill needs to include the contact name, phone number, company name, and a minimum of three months payment history.
Step 11: Confirm your account name
At this stage, you’ll be asked to confirm your Official account name.
In the case of a custom name, you must make sure it isn’t a trademarked name held by any other company and isn’t an already-registered account name on WeChat.
If either of these two requirements aren’t met, your application will be rejected.
Step 12: Choose whether you want an invoice
If you want an invoice for your registration fee, click ‘E-invoice’. You’ll receive this within 10 days after your account has been verified.
Step 13: Pay the registration fee
Now it’s time to pay the registration fee of $99.
You can pay this via WeChat Pay or your bank card — whichever you prefer.
Step 14: Review and setup
Over the next couple of weeks, the WeChat team will review your verification application and contact you via phone, during Chinese working hours.
If you correctly completed each of the above steps, your Official account will then be verified and ready to go!
An alternative (and much easier) way to create a WeChat Official account overseas
As an international business, creating a WeChat Official account overseas can be tricky.
That’s why AdChina.io offers a WeChat Official account setup service that’ll handle the application process for you, from start-to-finish.
Here’s what’s involved:
Step 1: Register for AdChina.io
First, you’ll need to register for your free AdChina.io account.
This will give you instant access to our all-in-one advertising tool, where you’ll be able to run ads on each of the main channels in China from an English platform you can trust.
Step 2: Head over to the AdChina.io Marketplace
Click on the ‘Marketplace’ tab, and scroll down until you see the ‘WeChat Official Account Setup’ option under ‘Social Media Marketing’. Click ‘Get Started’.
Step 3: Purchase the ‘WeChat Official Account Setup’ service
Click ‘Activate Now’ at the bottom of the page.
Next, you’ll be prompted to pay the $149 fee, which covers the third-party setup cost and the direct fee to WeChat.
Step 4: Send us the necessary documentation
After you’ve paid, we’ll get in touch with you and ask for everything we need to set up your account. This will be the same as what we’ve already covered in this guide — but we’ll speed up the process by making sure everything is correct from the start.
Step 5: Wait for your account to be set up
We’ll send all your information to WeChat, and work directly with them to make sure everything is where it needs to be. You can just sit back and relax at this stage, as we do the hard work for you.
This should take around 2-4 weeks but could be quicker depending on all the details provided by you.
Step 6: Launch your account
Once we’ve approved your account with WeChat, you’re then free to start posting content and building your following on the platform.
- Follower engagement
- Content production
- Performance insights
WeChat Official account marketing tips for international brands
Here’s how you can get the most from your account Official account:
1. Create frequent and high-quality content
The more content you upload to your Official account, the more traction it’ll gain.
The best content will offer genuine value to your target market — whether it entertains or educates.
WeChat articles, which are like mini blogs, provide a great format to engage potential followers. Publish one connected to a popular hashtag, and you could quickly gain new fans.
2. Use it to generate new leads
For a WeChat Official account to really pay-off, you need to use it as a lead generator.
Thankfully, WeChat is a great platform for generating leads, as it lets you integrate direct links to your e-commerce store, website, or app in articles, posts and messages.
You can also use your Official account as a landing page to redirect your followers to wherever you want them to go.
Take advantage of this, and once you’ve got an audience, use it wisely!
And don’t forget to automate your follower engagement with a chatbot, too — it could be a great way to generate (and qualify) leads, as you sleep!
3. Advertise it on WeChat
To guarantee maximum exposure, it’s worth advertising your Official account on WeChat via banner ads, feed ads, or Moments ads.
Target your ads to your ideal customer, and you’ll almost certainly gain more followers — giving your content a bigger audience, and a bigger audience to convert.