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.
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.
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.
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.
Please note: 4 msgs/day is a typo in the screenshot, it should be ‘4 msgs/month’.
Learn more but in Chinese here.
Tencent’s Official Account terms and conditions are then listed.
Learn more but in Chinese here.
Input your business and admin info as required.
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.
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.
About the business as
The contact info is only for the verification process, but the admin and contact can be the same person.
Upload files including
The naming methods includes
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.
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.
Check the invoice details and amount. It’s $99 USD in total for the verification.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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