Today I’m talking about registering an official WeChat (Weixin) account for a foreign company without a Chinese business registration number (BR). Generally there are 2 options :
1) Contact a dedicated agency and use their BR. This method works but it involves many risks and limits functionality.
2) Contact WeChat directly and submit a proposal.
1. If you use an agency to set up your account, the business registration number can be supplied by the agency. However, this means that your WeChat account is technically owned by the agency instead of you. The usual agency charge for starting a WeChat account is around 1000-2000 USD. On top of that, it's usually about 300-500 USD a year for maintenance. Company representatives can push content and interact with followers but the account, content and data all belong to the agency.
Accounts registered by an agency can’t be transferred back to the company even if even it later becomes a registered business in China. In addition, accounts created by agencies, despite having all the legal documents required, are seldom verified, which limits their functions in terms of opening a WeChat store, advertising, etc.
2. A proposal has to be submitted to Tencent that includes your company information, a clear and detailed business plan and the type of account that you are applying for. There is a quarterly budget requirement set by Tencent. Official accounts for overseas companies are offered only to companies that spend 300,000 RMB or more on promotion per quarter. Companies that obtain their official accounts by this method can access all the functions of an official account.
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