WECHAT

All you need to know about the Chinese super-app.

WECHAT

All you need to know about the Chinese super-app.

Content

Part 1

Background

Tencent/WeChat is a massive company beloved by the Chinese.
WeChat growths
#1 in China
1,2 billion monthly active users with 6% annual growth
WeChat
#3 globally
Despite having >95% of its users located in China, WeChat is the #3 social messaging platform globally
Most valued brand in Asia
Most valued brand in Asia
According to some estimates, Tencent, the company behind WeChat, is together with Alibaba the most valued brand in Asia

Part 2

Social media platform

The primary function of WeChat is chat messaging, similar to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Line.
Personal messages
Main screen of WeChat after opening the app: List of recent chats. Users can also send text messages, pictures, videos, voice messages, transfer money, share location and audio/video call.
WeChat list of chats

List of chats

WeChat

Chat view

WeChat

Available actions

Moments
WeChat Moments are akin to Facebook Wall. It is the place people can share news with all their friends.
WeChat Moments

Moments

Part 3

Official accounts

To many Chinese, WeChat is the internet. Official WeChat accounts are the equivalent of company or publisher’s website.
Accounts are operated by brands, online stores, media, public organizations and bloggers. Users can follow these accounts and read published stories, purchase goods and engage in comment sections. It is the place most Chinese consume their daily news.
Account profile
First page users see before following an official account.
WeChat official account

Profile page

News feed
Defaut page after following an official account.
Published stories are shown chronologically on the acocunt’s page. Users are notified when new stories are published.
WeChat official account

Recent stories

Fixed content: Your China website
Official accounts allow 1-3 main menu buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Each button can (1) Open article; (2) Open sub menu with up to 7 items; (3) Open list of articles; (4) Open menu interface with lists of articles organized in categories; (5) Other: Open external links, H5 page, WeChat Stores, WeChat Mini Programs
WeChat official account

WeChat official account

(1)

WeChat%20chat%20view

(2)

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(3)

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(4)

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(5)

Published stories
Stories include text, pictures, videos, music, comment section and visual elements.
WeChat%20chat%20view

WeChat%20chat%20view

WeChat%20chat%20view

How to follow an account
(1) Through built-in search function using account’s Chinese name or ID
(2) By scanning account’s QR code
(3) By opening shared link
WeChat%20chat%20view

Search

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QR code

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Sharing

Part 4

Opening an official account

Official WeChat account is a must-have for any company or organization serious about China.
STEP 1:
Decide who opens the account
Your Chinese business entity
You will need your Chinese business license, ID of a Chinese employee and a Chinese phone number to start the registration process.
Your application will be reviewed by a 3rd party verification agency which may ask for additional documents.
Registration typically takes 1-2 weeks.
Marketing agency
Chinese marketing agencies take care of the entire process and register accounts using their own marketing business license.
The account is registered in client’s name.
Registration typically takes 1-2 weeks.
Get in touch and start an official account with Shanghai Jungle!
Your western business entity
Western businesses are now officially able to open official WeChat accounts using their foreign business license. In practice the approval process is a lot more difficult and most companies fail to meet the criteria. The resulting account is also subjet to additional restrictions on posted content and integration with other WeChat service.
Are you interested? Try Register your account yourself!
STEP 2:
Choose the account type
Two main types of official acocunts are “Subscription” and “Service”.
Each type can then be “Verified” which adds an additional label to account's profile page. Ideal for brands and official organizations wanting to show account’s authenticity.
WeChat%20chat%20view

Service accounts are listed on the homepage of WeChat right alongside private chats. Acocunt is moved to the top of chat list every time a new story is posted. This makes Service accounts more visible compared to Subscriptions accounts and an ideal choice for most companies.
Service accounts allow sending notifications about new stories to followers 4x/month with each broadcast consisting of up to 8 separate stories.
Subscription accounts are aggragated in the “Subscriptions” folder and are an ideal choice for publishers who want to broadcast news daily.
Content and structure are identical on both types of acocunts.
WeChat%20chat%20view

Service

WeChat%20chat%20view

Subscription

WeChat%20chat%20view

Subscription

STEP 3:
Choose account name
Every official account comes with 2 unique names.
Your Chinese name needs to:
  • Be easy to remember
  • Represent your brand
  • Have a meaning in Chinese (as opposed to phonetical transcription)
  • Certain Chinese characters will be rejected in the account registration backend
  • Certain Chinese characters will be rejected in the verification process done by verification agency
Account name
Can contain both Chinese and English characters.
Users can search for the account using full or partial name.
Brand names require proof of trademark registration and cooperation contract between the western and Chinese entity/marketing agency. Company representative from the western head-office may be contacted by the verificaiton agency in the process for confirmation. Only persons who’s contact can be found on company’s official website qualify. The contact is usually made in Chinese via email.
Account ID
In Latin characters.
Users have to look for full name to find your account.
STEP 4:
Register
Registration is done using WeChat’s backend platform. Application is reviewed by a 3rd party verification agency within 7 days after which the account is registered/rejected or you will receive request for additional documents.
STEP 5:
Add content
Quality content structured in a logical way is key. Find a trustworthy partner who can help you create the storytelling you need.
Content is added via WeChat backend. For improved visuals 3rd party platforms such as Xiumi.us can be used for designing layouts.
STEP 6:

  Launch

The launch should take place after all launch content has been added.
STEP 6:
Marketing
Account should be promoted in as many places as possible following the launch!
Free promotion
QR code in your email signature
QR on your business card
QR at your place of business
QR in all print publications
QR at exhibitions you attend, event you organize etc.
QR on your website
Engagement on related online forums
Paid promotion
Cooperation with online influencers (BEST WAY TO PROMOTE YOUR ACCOUNT) ideally in conjunction with a promotion campaign, more on this in our Guide to Influencers
Advertising on WeChat
Advertising on other platforms
STEP 7:
Ongoing storytelling
Your account can remain static or provide ongoing storytelling. As a general rule you should post new content regularly to signal to your followers that you are active + push news to them.

Part 5

Mini Programs

WeChat Mini Programs (also know as Mini Apps) are multi-platform Android and iOS compatible apps living within WeChat. These apps do not need to be purchased, downloaded and installed - instead they work more like H5 websites with added functionality.
Personal messages
Apps can be discovered in the same way as the Official Accounts through search, QR code or sharing. Recently opened apps can be accessed by pulling down on WeChat’s home screen.
WeChat Mini Program

Recent apps

Travel guide app

Travel guide app

Travel guide app

Categories

Mini Programs offers additional functionality through developer APIs allowing you to built custom apps.
Apps can access phone’s location, use WeChat Pay for in-store and online payments, use embedded websites, custom back-end, store user login and activity information and more.
Mini Programs are a great choice for restaurants (ordering and in-house payments), destinations (travel guides and navigation) and many other use cases.
Article

Article

WeChat%20chat%20view

Real time location

Travel guide app

Video gallery

WeChat Store
A type of WeChat Mini Programs used for shopping.
WeChat Mini App

WeChat Mini App

WeChat Mini App

WeChat Stores for brands?
WeChat Stores are often misunderstood and sold to brands under false pretenses.
Here’s what you need to know: 
WeChat Store is an eshop website with your products which can ony be accessed through WeChat.
Problem with WeChat Stores is that they are difficult to discover and people don’t really like them for online shopping. There are 2 shopping universes in China - Taobao/Tmall and JD.com. Practically everyone in China uses these platforms, has a profile and their shopping history. It is these platforms your customers will go to searching for your brand.
WeChat Store is to Taobao what a hotel’s website is to Booking.com. 
You are a big brand
You should consider opening a WeChat Store as part of your marketing campaign(s), especially when employing WeChat KOLs. Shopping experience will be seamless for your customers.
WeChat Stores are also great if you have physical locations around China where you can promote your channel and push people to use your app.
The advantage is that you are in control of your platform and can tailor the experience - customers can obtain discount coupons, pay in-store and online, apply for membership cards and more.
You are a small-medium brand
Establish presence on Taobao/Tmall and JD.com.

Part 6

WeChat Pay

Built-in payment platform directly linked to user’s personal debit/credit card(s). WeChat Pay and Alipay together cover >95% of digital payments in China with about 50-50 split between the two companies.
WeChat Wallet is home to a number of payment related services allowing users to pay in store or online, transfer money to friends, pay for hotels, taxi, phone bill, utilities and more.
In-store payments are typically done by showing a QR code generated on your phone to a barcode scanner.
Online payments are typically done by scanning a QR off a computer screen or seamlesly for purchases done on phone.
WeChat Wallet

Homepage

WeChat Pay

Transfer

WeChat Pay

Booking

Part 7

Search

While Baidu will probably always have its place in China’s online world, it is falling in popularity as its search results have become mostly commercialized. The decline has been amplified by a number of scandals. WeChat has gradually become a viable alternative to Baidu. 
Ssearch resutls are limited to WeChat official accounts, WeChat Mini Programs, WeChat Moments and WeChat articles.
Although its search resutls are limited, the sheer amount of content available on WeChat made it an increasingly popular alternative to Baidu.
WeChat indexes all content posted on WeChat - by brands, bloggers and media companies.
Wechat Search

Search results

Part 8

Other

WeChat have recently launched its Douyin/TikTok competitior short video platform.

WeChat has also become an extremely popular gaming platform (similar to Facebook’s games) with games available through Mini Programs.

Other functions are available mostly through WeChat Mini Programs.

Q&A

Do you have other questions?

Leave us a question using the chat window at the bottom right corner and we’ll get back to you with an answer!

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Berliner Philharmoniker
Frankfurt am Main
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Frankfurt am Main

“The WeChat Mini Program you made for Frankfurt am Main is just fantastic."

Lisa-Valerie Hörth
Tourismus+Congress GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

woom GMBH

“It was a blast working with you and your team! You have brought our product to China."

Lisa Schmidt
woom GmbH., Austria

Invest Stockholm

“Thank you so much for all your work and keeping everyone in the loop."

Jenny Berthling
Stockholm Business Region AB., Sweden


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China at the centre of it all.

Shanghai Jungle was founded in 2013. The company is based in Shanghai and solely focused on helping western companies, organizations and government agencies with their China marketing.

Our focus is mainly online marketing - but we also provide offline marketing, market research and other related services. Our team consists of Chinese, German, Danish and Czech nationals, which we believe enable us to both understand our clients and also the Chinese market. We currently serve more than 100 clients from 12 different countries.

Contact

marek@shanghaijungle.com
(+86) 150 0008 6214

Company

Shanghai Jungle Mainland China
Room 1307, 841 Middle Yan 'an Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai, China
CONTACT

Shanghai Jungle Hong Kong
5/F, 180 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Shanghai Jungle Europe
Threesixty Italy, Via Pietrasanta, 12, 20141 Milano MI, Italy