WeChat has now opened its business platform to foreign businesses, and businesses in North America and around the world now feel there is a way to communicate with prospective Chinese customers.
We are sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but these foreign WeChat accounts are only shown to foreign WeChat users, meaning registered users who are outside of China (not registered using a China mobile number). You may think that "oh, we are only targeting Chinese customers in Canada and the US, it doesn't matter if we don't reach people in China." WeChat accounts are tied to a mobile phone number, and most of the time, Chinese users from China originally registered their account while they were still in China, meaning the phone number is still tied to a China mobile number, meaning they are still classified as non-foreign/overseas users.
This means that even if you are able to open a foreign business account, your account postings and content won't be shown to your desired target audience. In fact, China users are not able to search for your business WeChat account in their app, so you are basically invisible to them.
Originally, if you had wanted to open a WeChat business account, you would have to set up a business in China, have a business address in China, along with China business incorporation documents, to attempt a business account opening.
For businesses who do not intend to set up operations in China, another option would be to open a WeChat subscription account through working with agencies who have staff within China to open these accounts (China mobile, ID and bank account required for account opening).
At Catalyst Agents we have staff available in China to assist with your account opening for Subscription accounts, so if your business is looking for a way to communicate with Chinese consumers through the WeChat platform, we are able to help.
Contact us today to get more information on the WeChat opportunity.