To register as a Chinese organization, you will need a Chinese business license with relevant documentation, as well as a Chinese citizen to register as the account administrator. To be clear, a China WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise) is a Chinese company and can directly register WeChat Official Accounts.
To begin, head to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform and click “Register now”.
1. Choose your Account Type
Decide whether to register a Subscription account (订阅号) or a Service account (服务号). We have written separately about WeChat Work accounts, that are meant for internal company use by employees and have a separate backend at work.weixin.qq.com. This article is concerned with the corporate accounts your customers will follow.
The chart below covers the important high-level differences. Check out our detailed overview of WeChat platform features and developer interfaces for more thorough coverage.
If you’re still unsure of which account type to choose, seek advice before proceeding. Once you’ve registered your account, it is very difficult or even impossible to change types. Unless you’re a media company, we generally recommend Service accounts for our clients.
2. Create a User Account
Email addresses can only be used once per Official Account, so you’ll need to submit and verify a unique email address.
3. Select Mainland China as your Region
4. Enter your Organization Details
Once you select your organization type (government, media, corporate, or other) the appropriate form will ask for your organization’s and account administrator’s basic information.
This step requires you to register an administrator who has a Chinese national ID (身份证 shēn fèn zhèng) and a +86 mobile phone number. A short code will be sent to the phone number to authenticate. The admin will also need to scan a QR code to bind his or her WeChat account. One person can serve as the administrator for a maximum of five WeChat Official Accounts.
5. Select Authentication Method
There are three different ways to authenticate your business. If you already intend to go one step further and verify (认证 rènzhèng) your account, go ahead and choose the last option at this step, for “WeChat Verification”, which requires a 300RMB (~US$50) annual fee. WeChat verification is the only option that provides the gold badge on your profile and access to advanced platform features and interfaces.
6. Create an Account Profile
You’ll need to pick an account name, enter a short introduction to your account, and select your “operating area”.
Your account name is required to be unique. Spaces and most special characters are prohibited — only Chinese characters and alphanumeric characters. If you find someone is already using your business name, WeChat has a nifty feature that will display the account, and if you think it qualifies as trademark infringement, you can report it. If you’re curious, check out this 2014 post on how bad trademark infringement on WeChat used to be in the early days.
Once set, your account name can only be changed by going through the WeChat verification process again (and paying another 300RMB). Your account logo and introduction can be changed up to five times per month.
If you chose WeChat Verification as your authentication method, your account is now registered in a temporary status. You’ll need to complete the verification process within thirty days. We were able to register and verify an account for this blog post in less than twenty-four hours.
In the meantime, WeChat drops you right into your new account backend and you’ll be able to upload a profile photo and setup other basic features while you wait for verification.
8. Add operators
As discussed in grey boxed note above, if you are a non-Chinese account owner, you’ll want to add yourself as an operator so you can login without the assistance of your admin. To do this you will need to have 1) a bank card linked to your personal WeChat account, 2) you need to follow your new account, and 3) you will need your admin to scan a QR code. One personal WeChat account can be an operator for up to five WeChat Official Accounts.
Get started in Settings – Security Center, and click Details on the first row.
In the second section under Operator management, click on the green button to add an operator. You can have up to five long-term operators and up to twenty short-term operators (one-month expiration).
A pop-up window will open and you’ll need to select your user from among your account followers.
After you “Invite to bind” your admin will need to scan a QR code. Once they’ve approved, you’ll receive a template message in WeChat to accept the invite.
Congratulations! You’ve now got your very own WeChat Official Account!