Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate that owns WeChat and WeChat Pay, boasts over 900 million WeChat users in China, and over 200 million users of its related payment platform.
An agreement regarding trade was achieved between Australia and China in December 2015 to ease the process of doing business between the two countries. ChAFTA (Chinese-Australia Free Trade Agreement) turns out to be a huge benefit for Australian businesses, especially those exporting to China, in the middle of an increasingly competitive market. It is an effective agreement, and the Internet – particularly mobile Internet and more specifically mobile messaging app called WeChat – only makes it better.
Everybody now realizes the power of the Internet as a form of business communication medium. Online shops and payment have made it so much easier for people to find and purchase goods & services even from overseas. Mobile messaging apps have also been used as marketing tools by merchants and sellers to promote their products to millions (if not billions) of users worldwide.
What are WeChat Official Accounts?
WeChat Official Accounts are the WeChat equivalent of a Facebook page: they are an interface a brand can use to:
Send them to push notifications
Redirect them to a website/e-commerce
Most WeChat Official Accounts appear in the “Chat” section of WeChat. This is the section of WeChat which is most similar to WhatsApp / Messenger. Upon sending notifications, WeChat Official Accounts are brought to the top (we’ll see nuances about this topic in the section regarding different types of accounts)
Users can then open the account to access a conversation interface where they can either click on push notifications or access information through the bottom menu interface
Creating a WeChat Official Account
Creating a WeChat Official Account with an overseas company:
In order to abide by the local regulations in terms of media content, WeChat makes it difficult for foreign companies to create WeChat Official Accounts.
Using your own oversea business license (go through a special application process).
Tencent has a case-by-case application process for companies wanting to create a WeChat Official Account. It’s a longer application procedure (about 2-3 months) and costs $1,120 USD for the first year and $120 USD for subsequent years (if you do it with Jetek China Digit, however, however, has the great advantage of enabling you to create an account entirely controller by your overseas structure. This process removes the risk of temporarily relying on a third party structure which has control over your followers (reach out via email@example.com to learn more)
– Your company owns the account legally
– The account looks more authentic to consumers since company’s legal name will be displayed on the information page
– Such account enables overseas companies to run WeChat Advertising
– Higher annual verification fee charged by Tencent $120 (instead of 300RMB for Chinese company)
– Takes 2-3 month to set up
– Such application is only possible for companies registered in the following countries/regions: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, France, England, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, German, Italy, Vietnam, Finland, UAE, Indonesia, Cambodia, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia
*Updated: all foreign companies can now apply for China-visible WeChat Official Account through the White Label process
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest regulation
How else can Australian Businesses benefit?
China has its own laws regulating the use of messaging apps and the Internet. Many popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and even Google search engine are currently blocked by the government. However, the country has its own app to cater to all Chinese buyers craving for products from overseas, like WeChat Pay, 58.com and Alipay. Fortunately for Australian businesses, the app covers all essential features to serve as an e-commerce platform. It has built-in marketing options, messaging, video call, and in-app payment. From the business perspective, the app is a complete platform for promotional contents, customer service practices, and a secure transfer of money(click here know how to open a WeChat Pay and Alipay).
The combination of ChAFTA and WeChat allows Australian businesses to monetize on mobile shopping trend in China easier than ever. You can also find information about the commodities currently in demands by the Chinese from 58.com (click here know what is 58.com).
If you are thinking about exporting to China, the business.gov.au is a good place to start digging more information about Chinese mobile platform you should know. You can also employ a Chinese intern for your business or hire a consultant to give you advise.
If you are located in Adelaide Australia. Feel free to meet us in our office (3/19 Market Street, Adelaide, 5000). Or call us on 1300 058 588. It’s never too late to explore the Chinese Market!
Thanks for reading.