WeChat Official Account: LOCAL vs OVERSEAS

First launched in 2011 as a simple messaging platform similar to WhatsApp allowing individuals to communicate with each other’s, WeChat quickly became the main reference of mobile-messaging in China. This Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app was developed by Tencent the tech giant. It was first released in 2011, and by 2018 it was one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps by monthly active users, with over 1 billion monthly active users (more than 900 million daily active users). Described as one of the world’s most powerful apps by Forbes, it is also known as China’s “app for everything” and a “super app” because of its wide range of functions and platforms.

It soon launched its Official Account Admin Platform service allowing individuals, famous persons, government, media and enterprises to use it for cooperation and promotion purposes.

There are three types of WeChat Official Account:

1- Subscription accounts, which are best suitable for individuals, medias, enterprises, government or other organizations who wishes to build up a strong communication and a management system with their readers by a meaningful way of information propagation.

2- Service accounts, which are best suitable for medias, enterprises, government or other organizations who wishes to provide powerful diverse business services and have user management capabilities in order to efficiently implement its businesses with a brand-new official account service platform.

3- Enterprise accounts (WeChat Work), which are best suitable for companies’ employees who wishes to have business communication separated from their private life by using a set of business features such as internal chat rooms, video conferencing, and resource sharing in addition to the usual chat ones.

All these types of accounts are registered for free throughout the official WeChat platform and only subscription account can be changed into another type after the initial set up.


Until a year ago, only companies with a Chinese business license could actually register for an official LOCAL account. But since 2018 this service has expended its global range to organizations and people from more than 200 countries and regions. It allows international companies who wishes to penetrate the Chinese market to register for an OVERSEAS official account with their foreign business licenses. 

This breakthrough allowed foreign companies to be visible to all Chinese mainland WeChat users therefore allowing them to operate marketing campaigns and business operations directly within the Chinese market. It is recommended and also a strong advantage for foreign businesses to register for official accounts because they are now able to promote their brands to billions of WeChat users through this channel, which reduces costs of propagation significantly, raises popularity of the brand by running follower recruitment campaigns and also build up more influential brand images altogether without necessarily having to create a company in China.

Features of LOCAL VS OVERSEAS Official WeChat Account

The number of features of a local official account is greater than the ones of an overseas official account, but both of them have the core WeChat features integrated.

WeChat Pay are not supported for overseas accounts, but there are a few exceptions like Galeries Lafayette that has WeChat Pay at the checkout in the department store.

For an international company that wishes to expand and develop its business in China, there are three available options for registering an Official WeChat Account.

1- Register a company in China

2- Use a third-party business license

3- Use your own international business license 

Depending on your needs and business strategy, each option can be relevant to your company. Contact us to figure out which one is the most adapted to your case.

Time to expand your business!

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