Create a WeChat H5 Page or a WeChat Mini Program
Posted by , Last modified by Marc Füßlein on 15 July 2022 16:42
As the largest social network, WeChat is ubiquitous in China. However, WeChat is much more than we are used to here in the West from social networks like Facebook or messengers like WhatsApp, as it goes far beyond the classic functions - for example, WeChat also offers its own wallet.
Payment with the built-in wallet is possible in practically all Chinese shops and in most online shops. Many stationary retailers no longer accept cash or Western credit cards, or have very little cash on site as change. Paying with cash is simply a relic of the past in China thanks to functions like the WeChat wallet.
In addition to the payment function, WeChat also offers the purchase of cinema tickets, train tickets, airline tickets and much more. Furthermore, an almost infinite number of other eCommerce and banking functionalities are available via small extension apps.
This plethora of functions means that WeChat now has over 1.2 billion monthly users (as of Q1/21).
This large spread of WeChat in turn means that many other services in China now also require a WeChat account: for example, a WeChat account is a prerequisite for setting up an account for Baidu Webmaster Tools.
As a company that wants to be active in the Chinese market, creating a WeChat account is therefore essential. However, there are some points to consider when creating a WeChat account.
Not all WeChat accounts are the same
Immediately when creating a new WeChat account, one has to decide between four types:
The choice of the appropriate account type is crucial for the range of functions that will be available later: The first two types in particular are therefore of interest to companies, as they can also be used to communicate with users. The other two account types, on the other hand, are only intended for internal communication in companies (company accounts) or for creating mini applications (WeChat Mini Programs).
WeChat subscription account (订阅号)
A subscription account can be created by both companies and individuals, as no company license is required for its registration. In the following, we will primarily deal with the creation of WeChat accounts for companies. With the subscription account, one message per day can be sent to one's own subscribers. However, these messages are all collected in a special subscription folder of the users and are only displayed there.
WeChat service account (服务号)
A service account can only be created by companies. With this account, only 4 messages per month can be sent, but these appear as push messages in the chat list of the subscribers, which leads to more visibility compared to the messages of the subscription account and are therefore more likely to be noticed. In addition, you can only get access to other functions such as setting up a WeChat store with this account type. It is also possible to add Mini Programs to a service account, although a company can have a maximum of 50 Mini Programs.
National and international account
WeChat has long since ceased to be exclusive to China and is enjoying increasing usage in the West. For example, it is estimated that there were already between 100 and 200 million users outside of China in 2018.
When creating an account, however, WeChat distinguishes between national and international accounts. An international account can be created by all companies that can provide the necessary documents, including non-Chinese companies. To create a national account, on the other hand, you need to have your own company headquarters or a branch office in China directly.
When interacting with your WeChat account, the users cannot tell whether it is a national or an international account. Therefore, it is sufficient for most companies to create an international account, especially in the B2B sector.
However, if a Chinese company has its headquarters in China, it is still advisable to create a national account, as these usually receive new functions within WeChat before the international accounts. At the same time, the registration of a national account is usually faster, as fewer documents are required.
Apart from that, all basic functions, such as advertising placements, are available for both national and international accounts.
To create a national account, the following requirements must be met and the following documents are necessary:
The process usually takes about 1-2 weeks and costs 300 RMB/year (about 40 Euro).
Creating an international account is a bit more complicated. Applications are processed and evaluated manually, so applications may be rejected on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the verification process must be completed within 1.5 months after the account is created. Otherwise, the account created expires and would have to be created again afterwards.
The documents to be submitted may differ depending on the country in which a company is located.
In general, the following documents are required:
It is important to note that in this case it does not have to be a Chinese mobile number. However, it is crucial that the mobile number belongs to the account manager respectively that the invoices are issued on him.
As mentioned above, the verification process for creating an international account takes significantly longer (several weeks up to 2-3 months) and costs 99$/year (about 84€). The verification process must be repeated every year.