Let’s deep dive into the process to open a WeChat Official Account.
Before registering a WeChat Public Account, make sure you know the difference between the types of accounts available: WeChat Subscription vs. Service Account.
1. Introduction to the WeChat Official Account registration process
WeChat Official Account is registered with a Chinese business license/entity.
It is also called LOCAL/DOMESTIC WeChat Official Account, in opposition with a OVERSEAS WeChat Official account.
The public account is registered via WeChat Open Platform where all WeChat properties (Official Accounts, Mini Programs) of a company are sitting.
Official Account registration fees
Here is a break-down of the cost to set-up and then run a WeChat Official Account
Costs to sign-up to a WeChat Official Account
- Sign-up fee when creating WeChat Official Account: Free (before 300 RMB)
Costs to verify the new created Official Account
WeChat Official Account yearly verification fee:
- LOCAL WeChat Official account: 300 RMB per year (option if some advanced features such as WeChat Pay is required)
- OVERSEAS WeChat Official account: 99$ per year
Lead time to create a WeChat Official Account
Time to create a LOCAL WeChat Official Account
Application procedure (excluding the review step by the WeChat team): 7-10 business days / around 1-2 weeks
Time to create an OVERSEAS WeChat Official Account
Application procedure (excluding the review step by the WeChat team): less than weeks
Requirements before starting the process of registering a WeChat Official Account
Documents to prepare to create a WeChat overseas Official Account
- The details of the Chinese citizen who will hold the ‘Administrator’ role of the public account: Chinese residence ID, Chinese mobile phone number
- A mainland Chinese business registration
- The filled-in authorization document
- A scanned copy of your business license as well as its registration number, location, date of establishment, operating period, business type, registered capital, organization code.
- ID owner’s bank account number
Time to dive deeper into the process of how to open a WeChat Official Account from mainland China (with a Chinese business license) which happens in 2 steps:
- Sign-up process
- Verification process
2. How to create a WeChat Official Account
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to register a WeChat Official Account using a valid Chinese entity license.
How to set up a WeChat Official Account with a Mainland China entity
- Go to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform
Landing page URL to sign up: mp.weixin.qq.com
- Choose either Service or Subscription Account
Select the right type of Official Account according to your strategy for this channel
- Create a User Account
Provide an email to which a confirmation email will be sent
- Select Mainland China as your Region
Mainland China region is selected to create local Official Account
- Fill in your organization details
Fill in your account type (corporate or personal public account), company name, business license number, and the administrator’s information
- Select Authentication Method
‘WeChat verification’ authentification method is required to get the gold badge on your profile and access to advanced platform features.
- Fill in your WeChat account Profile information
Fill in your account name, short description and the region of activity
Time to verify the account👇👇👇: verifying the account is highly recommended for 2 reasons:
– On the company side, most functions are not enabled without verification.
– On the user end, The official brand account and its content are considered legitimate.
Verify your account when ‘WeChat Verification’ method was chosen as your authentication way (see step 5 ☝☝☝☝)
When verified, a little yellow tick appears in your public profile screen.
- Add operators
Learn more about how to add operator(s)
- Configure the account
First configurations with built-in features: automatic on-boarding message, contact management, broadcasting message, menu, etc…
Further readings the process to open a WeChat Official Account
- How to Register a WeChat Official Account | February 2018 [Grata]
- Ultimate Guide to WeChat for Business 2019 | January 2019 [rocketbots]
If you don’t have a Chinese entity…
If you are not incorporated in China, the process to set-up/create an official account is different as well as the fees.
There are 2 options to create WeChat Official Account from overseas (for example, Malaysia, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Thailand, etc…)
- Option 1: using a Foreign business license
- Option 2: using a 3rd-party Chinese business license
Let’s navigate through the steps to register a WeChat Official Account under an overseas business entity (option 1) here: + Opening a WeChat Official Account under an Overseas Business Entity: application process, requirements, fees and rules
3. How to verify a WeChat Official Account
WeChat Official Account must be verified in order to unlock the following features:
- WeChat Pay
- Release Mini Programs under the account
- WeChat geo-location
The verification process can be done after the registration process. It’s highly recommended to be a legit account.
Method 1: WeChat Official Account Backend
Log in to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform and go to Settings > Basic Information > WeChat Verification, and click Details.
Method 2: Mini Program Release Process
Log in to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform and go to the Mini Program release process page (for government, media, and other organization accounts).
4. What are the differences between a LOCAL and OVERSEAS WeChat Official Account?
- WeChat Official Account: LOCAL vs OVERSEAS | March 2019 [Phoceis]
- WeChat Q&A#3: What’s the difference between WeChat Global Account and WeChat China Account? | November 2018 [OctoPlus奥博传媒]
5. FAQ to register an Official Account
Yes, as long as you have the qualified documents prepared, the whole application can be processed via the Internet.
– Application process through 微信公众平台 / mp.weixin.qq.com for all the Official Accounts (even overseas accounts)
– Chinese business license 营业执照
– Organization certificate 组织机构代码证
– Company’s Chinese landline phone number (may receive a verification call from Tencent)
– A Chinese ID and cell phone number (身份证) of a mainland China citizen with a WeChat Payment account linked to his/her bank card
– Access to a Chinese bank account of the company, including account number, bank name, and bank address.
No, because you will need to fill in a Chinese ID (only mainland China, not including HK, Macao and Taiwan) during the
Official Account ?
Yes, a WFOE business licence certificate is a valid Chinese entity license, but it will take a longer time in the application process.
– 1 to 2 weeks if you are applying with a Chinese business license on the official website directly.
– 1 to 2 months as a China WFOE
Full access to backend basic functions including edit contents and send private messages, but without WeChat payment, which needs to be registered separately.
An enterprise can set up 2 Official Accounts, including subscription account and service accounts. You can apply for more by contacting Tencent and providing the reason why you would need more. Acceptance is not guaranteed.
Yes, as long as it is transferred to another China-based business entity. The dedicated procedure is below (5. How to transfer WeChat Official Account ownership 👇👇👇👇)
Yes – you can open an Official Account with Chinese ID only.
However, Personal Official Account type can only register ‘Subscription’ Official Account.
It is not mandatory but highly recommended to avoid organic search traffic hijacking. Detailed WeChat brand registration procedure here.
6. How to transfer WeChat Public Account ownership
Change an Official Account from one entity to another
Change from Personal Official Account (= Official Account registered with Chinese ID) to Business Official Account (= Official Account registered with Chinese business license)
It’s also possible to transfer the ownership of a Personal Official Account with the cooperation of the person behind the ‘Administrator’ role.
7. How to add an operator to an Official Account
Full details here: How to add an operator to an Official Account