Mark Tanner
Mark Tanner
28 August 2018 0 Comments

Tencent recently made a change that allows overseas business to set up their own WeChat Official Account(s) to reach mainland Chinese WeChat users. It doesn’t allow WeChat Pay or APIs yet, but it has the core WeChat features. As part of the change, the original WeChat OA Platform will be succeeded by the new and improved MP Weixin Official Accounts Platform. The legacy OA platform will stop operationing from 13 September 2018.

China Skinny tried out the new process and would like to share the experience with anyone who is interested in getting this new type of WeChat Official Account, owned by your foreign business with little cost.

To start the WeChat Official Account Registration Process please click on this link.

Step 1: Select an account type

Select ‘Service Account’ – although it lists all four account types, there is another step later on to confirm the account type, which leaves only one option for overseas’ company, the Service Account.

Step 2: Enter the available email address, verify it and set up the password for this account

assign an email address to your WeChat account

Step 3: Select your company or organisation’s current region

It lists almost every country, but the majority are still in Chinese here (when China Skinny tried it in July). For the full list of countries, please see the “Notes” at the end of this post.

select the country for the WeChat account origin

The default option for an overseas business here is ‘Service Account’. Note that while the core WeChat Official Account features are included, APIs or WeChat Pay functionality are not yet available.

WeChat Official Account features

Please note: 4 msgs/day is a typo in the screenshot, it should be ‘4 msgs/month’.

Learn more but in Chinese here.

Step 4: Input the business and admin’s basic info

Tencent’s Official Account terms and conditions are then listed.

WeChat Official Account registration info

Learn more but in Chinese here.

Input your business and admin info as required.

Enter company details for a WeChat Official Account

WeChat Official Account administrator details

PS: The verification code is only valid for 60 seconds, but new ones can be re-sent.

You will then receive confirmation when the info is successfully submitted.

WeChat Official Account information cannot be changed after registration

You will receive confirmation in the WeChat OA backend about whether your WeChat Official Account is approved or not. Once approved, you won’t be able to use it until you verify the account. If the account is not verified within 30 days, your Official Account will be cancelled.

The WeChat Official Account Verification Process

WeChat Official Account tip

Step 1: Input more detailed info

About the business as

  • 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

Entity details for WeChat Official Account

WeChat Official Account entity address

WeChat Official Account entity details

The contact info is only for the verification process, but the admin and contact can be the same person.

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

WeChat Official Account personal details validation

WeChat Official Account personal details

Upload files including

  • Business license;
  • Official application letter which can be downloaded from the system, but needs to be filled out, signed & stamped;
  • Contact’s mobile phone statement/bill which lists his/her name, phone number and payment history in past 3 months;
  • Contact’s ID/Passport/Driving license copies, twice if it’s the same;
  • Company landline statement (optional)
  • Other documents (optional)

Upload business information for a WeChat Official Account

WeChat Official Account ID requirements

Step 2: Set up the name for your WeChat Official Account

The naming methods includes

  • trademark name, which needs a trademark registration license and trademark license

Choosing a name for your WeChat Official Account

  • Media name which requires a media license

WeChat Official Account naming verification

  • Optional vocabulary – which can be different from your official company name, offering more freedom to choose a name for your WeChat Official Account. The name must still be available, and ideally you will have some supporting information to support your case for the name.

Choosing the correct name for you WeChat Official Account

If the name you wish to use is already taken, but you are the rightful owner of that name through trademarks, then you can raise a challenge. A third party will then investigate your applicability for using this.

Step 3: Confirm the name for your WeChat Official Account

Confirm name for your WeChat Official Account

Note that the name you confirmed here may have to change later in the manual verification process by a third party.

If your Offical Account has a geographic name, supplementary material is needed, like your business license or other relevant license to prove you can use it here. Otherwise, the name will be rejected.

Name of WeChat Official Account applying for verification

Step 4: Confirm the invoice

Check the invoice details and amount. It’s $99 USD in total for the verification.

WeChat Official Account verification invoice

Step 5: Pay the Fees

Pay the verification fee by bank transfer from your business bank account to Tencent’s bank account.

Please ensure you put the exact full company name (even the dot in it) in the transfer. An email with bank slip to weixinmp_hw@tencent.com may speed up the payment clearance.

After the payment being received by Tencent/WeChat, it will take another 1-5 working days for the OA verification. You have three chances before it fails. The verification fee will not be refunded if it fails.

The whole Offical Account verification will be dealt with a third party, which is randomly appointed case by case. This verification agency will contact the admin of the Official Account by email and calls to confirm info, ask for more verification files if needed and make the necessary changes to get Offical Account verified within three chances.

The registered Official Account will only be in function after the verification.

 

Transferring followers from other WeChat Official Accounts

If you had been using another WeChat Official Account for your brand – it could have been through a distributor, agency or other partner in China – you can transfer the followers from this account to your new account. This will need agreement from the owner of this Official Account. Do this as soon as possible because once you have more than 1,000 followers on your new Official Account, you can no longer transfer users to it.

Having the followers attached to an account owned by your company will ensure that you have control of the WeChat followers that you are investing in and reduce the risk if you part ways in the future.

For more information about transferring followers from one WeChat Official Account to another (in Chinese) click/tap here.

 

Reserve a spot on China Skinny’s WeChat Webinar on September 12/13 to learn how to maximise your WeChat account. More information here.

wechat-webinar

NOTES:

The full list of countries that are listed where businesses can apply for a WeChat Official Account:

Select your company or organisation’s current region. At the current time, the platform only supports registration from companies in the following regions:

Chinese Mainland, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Angola, Argentina, Australia ,Aruba, Barbados ,Bermuda ,Brunei ,Brazil ,Bahamas ,Bhutan ,Botswana, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Fiji ,Grenada ,Georgia, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Greenland, Gambia, Guam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Haiti, Indonesia ,India, Iraq, Iran, Iceland, Jersey, Japan, Cambodia, Saint Kitts and Nevis ,South Korea, Kuwait ,Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein ,Libya, Monaco, Moldova, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Macao Special Administrative Region, Northern Mariana Islands ,Mauritius ,Maldives, Mexico, Malaysia, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Palau, Reunion, Russia, Saudi Arabia ,Seychelles ,Singapore ,San Marino, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan China, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela ,Vietnam ,Samoa, South Africa ,Andorra, Albania ,Armenia ,Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Burundi ,Benin ,Bolivia, Central African Republic ,Chile, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Serbia, Cuba ,Djibouti ,Algeria, Ecuador, Egypt ,Eritrea ,Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras ,Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya ,Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati ,North Korea ,Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Sri Liberia, Lesotho, Morocco ,Madagascar, Myanmar ,Mongolia, Mauritania, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Norway, Nepal ,Oman, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda ,Solomon Islands ,Sudan, Sierra ,Senegal ,Suriname ,Tajikistan ,Tonga ,Tanzania ,Uganda, Uruguay ,Uzbekistan, Vanuatu ,Afghanistan ,Aland Islands, American Samoa, Anguilla ,Antarctica ,Belarus ,Belize ,Bosnia and Herzegovina ,British Indian Ocean Territory ,Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad ,Christmas Island ,Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros ,Congo (Brazil) ,Cook Islands ,Cote d’Ivoire, Dominique, Salvador ,Red Guinea ,Falkland Islands (Malvinas) ,Faroe Islands, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territory, Gabon, Guadeloupe ,Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Heard Island and MacDonald Island ,Vatican UK Territory ,Mani Island ,Marimat ,Nickmayor, Micronesia ,Federated States of Montenegro, Montserrat, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, Niernofok Island,Palestine ,Pitcairn, St. Helena, Saint Lucia, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon ,Saint Vincent And the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe ,Somalia ,South Georgia and South Sandvik Island, Svalbard and Jan Mayen Island ,Syria East,Timor, Togo, Tokelau ,Tunisia ,Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands ,Tuvalu, United States Minor Outlying Islands ,British Virgin Islands ,US Virgin Islands ,Wallis and Futuna