Paid Advertising on WeChat: rules & regulations, format, cost, targeting

wechat paid advertising media buying

1. 101: How does paid advertising work on WeChat? Requirements? Format? Cost?

WeChat offers 4 main channels for advertising

WeChat’s Moments Ads

  • Sponsored post on WeChat Moments = “templated cards” on WeChat users’ Moments feed otherwise reserved for posts by friends
  • Launched in late 2015

wechat advertising ad banner on official account
  • Banner ad on content featured at the bottom of Official Account articles

Mini Programs Ads


  • KOL advertising = involves mutual collaboration with influencers/bloggers to push conversion

Further readings

Sponsored Ads on WeChat Moments are composed of:

  • Brand’s WeChat Official Account name along with a profile picture
  • Media:
    • Image(s): up to 6 pics
    • Video: 6-15 seconds short video
  • Ad’s description: up to 40 characters
  • Link(s) to a WeChat H5 or a Mini Program for further action
Link to Mini Program
Link to a WeChat H5

Different Ad banner versions can be found in 3 promotion channels. The layout varies from one channel to another:

  • Standard banner version Ads in WeChat article – they are displayed in 3 locations:
    • at the bottom of WeChat article
    • at the middle of WeChat article
    • Pre-roll of a video within WeChat article
  • KOL banner version Ads – this format will be detailed separately
  • Mini Program banner version Ads

WeChat advertising cost

WeChat Moment Ads

As of 2018, the WeChat Moments Ads use the CPM (= cost per thousand impressions) pricing model through two schemes:

  • Bidding scheme
    • Company targeted profile: looking for flexible advertising times
    • Minimum cost per day: $160
  • Scheduled pricing scheme
    • Company targeted profile: companies with a pre-defined media buying calendar
    • The cost depends on the advertisement’s launching area, which is categorized into three groups: core cities, large cities, and other cities.
Core citiesLarge citiesOther cities
Shanghai / BeijingGuangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan
Suzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Xi’an, Shenyang, Changsha, Qingdao, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Xiamen, Jinan, Harbin, Fuzhou

CPM = cost per thousand impressions

City sizeCPM of Picture Display AdsCPM of Video Ads
Core cities150RMB/21.8$180RMB/26.19$
Large cities100RMB/14.55$120RMB/17.46$
Other cities50RMB/7.28$60RMB/8.73$

3 budget levels depending on the displayed content:

Pricing levelPictures? How many? Video? How long?
50,000RMB/7,275$Yes / only 1No
100,000RMB/14,551$Yes / 1, 3 or 4Yes / 300” or 6” for external link
500,000RMB/72,755$Yes / 1, 3, 4 or 6Yes / 300” or 6” for external link

In case you are targeting Chinese located overseas: Ads can be geo-targeted to audiences in over 40 countries

Minimum budget:

Country & RegionMinimum CPM entry cost
Hong-Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Australia50,000RMB/7,275$
France, Germany, England, Italy, Canada, New-Zealand10,000RMB/1,455$

with CPM = cost per thousand impressions

CPM of Picture Display AdsCPM of Video Ads

(Source: Daxue Consulting)

WeChat Banner Ads – Standard version

Minimum CPM entry price = ¥50,000/$7,275 (for both local companies (including WFOEs that are registered in mainland China) and foreign companies)

with CPM = cost per thousand impressions or CPC = cost par click

City sizeCPMCPC
Core cities25RMB/3.64$Biding system
Large cities20RMB/2.91$start from 0.5RMB/0.07$ per click
Other cities15RMB/2.18$

(Source: Daxue Consulting)

All in one place – essential reports to learn the basics

2. Moment Ads targeting options

  • Location: supports province, city or district (based on location of user during previous month) Gender & age: gender and age from 5 to 60 years old
  • Mobile phone: targeting by OS (iOS, Android) or type of network used
    Marital status: single, married, newly married or raising a kid
  • Education level: PhD, master, bachelor, high school, primary school
  • Interests: 18 categories and 122 sub-categories. 18 core categories are education, travel, finance, cars, real estate, furniture, fashion, F&B, personal services, professional services, cosmetics, home electronics, sports, health, child education, bags, watches, shoes, jewelry, politics and law, luxury goods, drinks, Internet, entertainment
  • WeChat behavior: currently following your public account, already using your APP, collected a WeChat coupon from ads within the past year, showed interest in your previous ads during the past year, remove users who are not interested in your content

+ new advertising targeting options added:

  • [from March 2019] Lookalike audience targeting

3. Regulations to comply

The rules and requirements applied to each specific industry can be found on WeChat official website.

4. Tips, tactics and best practices to promote brands efficiently

5. Case studies

6. Updates and timeline

DateUpdatesSource / more details
May 2019show 3 WeChat Moments Ads per day (instead of two) for Chinese users in Tier 1 cities (only)
– more visibility for brands and more revenue for Tencent
Twitter – Matthew Brennan

April 2019After a testing phase started in November 2018 –
Tagging function for Ads on WeChat Moments is now automatically available for all paid Ads on Moments. When tagged, your friends get notified.
March 2019WeChat improve the advertising targeting options (similar to Facebook’s feature): Lookalike audience targetingSplio
November 2018WeChat moments Ads can now directly open Mini Programs

November 20181 – [Testing phase] Tagging function for Ads on WeChat Moments:
(in testing phase with some brands including Ferrari and KFC) be able to tag friends on WeChat moment Ads, which allows a higher and more qualified engagement with the Ad. 
– According to Tencent, Ferrari’s moment Ad, the first to benefit from the tagging, received 50% of its traffic from the tagging alone. 
2 – Display number of how many of your contacts “might” have seen the Ad.
1 – tag friends
2 – impression count of contacts
May 2018New Ad format with Image + Headline + Description
– When clicking on the Ad, the user is taken to Mini Program (e-store)
April 2018Allowing users to purchase products or visit online stores by clicking on Ads in their Moments feedsJobTubeDaily
March 20181 – WeChat Mini Program Ads
– banner Ad slot at the top or bottom of each Mini Program which links to the Mini Program being advertised
2 – WeChat finally decided to show 2 WeChat Moments Ads per day (instead of 1)
– The Moments Ads will also be more visible so that brands can reach more customers.
3 – New WeChat Moments Ads formats
February 2018New Ad format (1) as an entry point to a Mini Program.
– When clicking on the Ad – users are taken to a given Mini Program (2).
screenshot 1
screenshot 2
February 2018New Ad format with Headline + full visual
– When clickign on the Ad, the user is taken to Mini Program
December 2017New Ad format with 2 CTAs
– Depending on if the user clicks on Ad image / CTA 1 / CTA 2, users will directly be taken to different contents (to an external page with images, contents and videos)
November 2017 To push on more possibilities on Mini Program, Tencent recently upgraded their Ads structure – Mini App can now also be included into the paid media zone at the bottom of WeChat Push in the display format of a static image.screenshot
September 2017Bid on Ad space on the “Mini Programs Nearby” list 
> Bidding scheme

July 2017[Testing phase] Ad positions: more freedom to choose the specific spots where the Ads are displayed 
– Give more possibility to marketers on the Ad position in the OA to integrate it better to content
May 2017New Ad format
– Instead of simple picture/video Ads, the content is now combined into a clickable card. It can lead users directly to a H5 page.
– Users can now @ the brand to comment on the Ads. Brands can @ back the users to reply to the comments. It’s great to increase user engagement and get feedback from the user.

October 2016WeChat launches two-way-pick banner Ads, aiming to triple advertising revenue by 2018WalktheChat

Updated on 2019-06-30

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