Categories
Podcast WeCom

What is WeChat at Work? (Podcast Part 2)

Second and final part of our WeChat at Work series, where Andrew from Grata.co takes us on a deep dive of all the new updates to the “WeChat at Work” platform, formerly known as “WeChat Enterprise Accounts”.

Listen and subscribe to WalkTheChat and Grata’s weekly English-language podcast on all things China Digital Marketing. Available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Categories
WeChat Official Accounts

How to Register a WeChat Official Account

WeChat Official Accounts launched back in 2012 and, while there have been many changes over the years, one of the constants has been confusion regarding 1) how to setup an account, and 2) what type of account to register. We try to demystify both of these questions here.

Recent updates have made it much easier for businesses in most countries to get their own account. Here’s how WeChat’s Official Account system currently breaks down:

China vs. Non-China Entities

Overseas China Service Accounts

If you’ve been following this space for awhile, you may have noticed that the old international backend (admin.wechat.com) has been discontinued as of September 2018. This is a good thing. Accounts registered on the discontinued international backend were shockingly not visible to Chinese users. Now all WeChat Official Accounts are based on the same backend and accessible to Chinese users. That’s progress!

These Overseas China Service Accounts (海外特殊认证的国内服务号) still have many limitations compared to accounts registered to Chinese entities, but they just might be good enough for what you need. Specific features and developer interfaces, and the requirements to obtain them, vary by region as they are administrated by different Tencent business development teams.

If you don’t have a Chinese business, your first step when registering an Official Account may be to consider whether or not an overseas account is good enough to accomplish what you want to do on the WeChat platform. If not, you’ll either have to register a Chinese business or try contacting a third-party agent who may be able to setup an account for you, for a fee. We recommend WalktheChat.com.

Register a WeChat Official Account as a Non-China entity

Open the WeChat Official Accounts Platform homepage. It’s mostly available in English now.  Click “Register now” to get started.

1. Choose an account type

As a Non-China entity your only choice is a Service Account.

2. Create a User Account

Email addresses can only be used once per Official Account, so you’ll need to submit and verify a unique email address.

3. Select the Region of your Business License

The drop-down list includes most countries and regions of the world with “popular” regions listed first.

4. Enter your Organization Details

You’ll need to enter your company name and business registration number exactly as they appear on your local business license. You’ll also need to designate an account administrator, entering their full name and passport number, and verifying a mobile phone number.

5. Create an Account Profile

You’ll need to pick an account name, enter a short introduction to your account, and select your “operating area”.

Your account is now registered!

6. Verify

If you choose to verify your account you can start with the verification process immediately. Verification for Overseas Official Accounts costs US$99 per year.

 


Register a WeChat Official Account as a Mainland China entity

To register as a Chinese organization, you will need a Chinese business license with relevant documentation, as well as a Chinese citizen to register as the account administrator. To be clear, a China WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise) is a Chinese company and can directly register WeChat Official Accounts.

To begin, head to the WeChat Official Accounts Platform and click “Register now”.

1. Choose your Account Type

Decide whether to register a Subscription account (订阅号) or a Service account (服务号). We have written separately about WeChat Work accounts, that are meant for internal company use by employees and have a separate backend at work.weixin.qq.com. This article is concerned with the corporate accounts your customers will follow.

The chart below covers the important high-level differences. Check out our detailed overview of WeChat platform features and developer interfaces for more thorough coverage.

If you’re still unsure of which account type to choose, seek advice before proceeding. Once you’ve registered your account, it is very difficult or even impossible to change types. Unless you’re a media company, we generally recommend Service accounts for our clients.

2. Create a User Account

Email addresses can only be used once per Official Account, so you’ll need to submit and verify a unique email address.

3. Select Mainland China as your Region

4. Enter your Organization Details

Once you select your organization type (government, media, corporate, or other) the appropriate form will ask for your organization’s and account administrator’s basic information.

This step requires you to register an administrator who has a Chinese national ID (身份证 shēn fèn zhèng) and a +86 mobile phone number. A short code will be sent to the phone number to authenticate. The admin will also need to scan a QR code to bind his or her WeChat account. One person can serve as the administrator for a maximum of five WeChat Official Accounts.

⚠️ Important Point: The administrator’s role is frequently misunderstood. Your business owns the account, not your admin. As the owner of a Chinese WeChat Official Account, you should control the email address and password to login to your account. As a non-Chinese citizen, you can add yourself as an operator after you register the account, and your admin will never need to be given login credentials for your account. After you’ve added yourself as an operator, you only need your admin for adding other operators, resetting your developer AppSecret, and a few other sensitive tasks. You can change your admin at any time with their cooperation, or you can remove him or her without their cooperation by re-verifying your account at any time. Your company owns the account.

5. Select Authentication Method

There are three different ways to authenticate your business. If you already intend to go one step further and verify (认证 rènzhèng) your account, go ahead and choose the last option at this step, for “WeChat Verification”, which requires a 300RMB (~US$50) annual fee. WeChat verification is the only option that provides the gold badge on your profile and access to advanced platform features and interfaces.

6. Create an Account Profile

You’ll need to pick an account name, enter a short introduction to your account, and select your “operating area”.

Your account name is required to be unique. Spaces and most special characters are prohibited — only Chinese characters and alphanumeric characters. If you find someone is already using your business name, WeChat has a nifty feature that will display the account, and if you think it qualifies as trademark infringement, you can report it. If you’re curious, check out this 2014 post on how bad trademark infringement on WeChat used to be in the early days.

Once set, your account name can only be changed by going through the WeChat verification process again (and paying another 300RMB). Your account logo and introduction can be changed up to five times per month.

7. Verify

If you chose WeChat Verification as your authentication method, your account is now registered in a temporary status. You’ll need to complete the verification process within thirty days. We were able to register and verify an account for this blog post in less than twenty-four hours.

In the meantime, WeChat drops you right into your new account backend and you’ll be able to upload a profile photo and setup other basic features while you wait for verification.

8. Add operators

As discussed in grey boxed note above, if you are a non-Chinese account owner, you’ll want to add yourself as an operator so you can login without the assistance of your admin. To do this you will need to have 1) a bank card linked to your personal WeChat account, 2) you need to follow your new account, and 3) you will need your admin to scan a QR code. One personal WeChat account can be an operator for up to five WeChat Official Accounts.

Get started in Settings < Security Center, and click Details on the first row.

In the second section under Operator management, click on the green button to add an operator. You can have up to five long-term operators and up to twenty short-term operators (one-month expiration).

A pop-up window will open and you’ll need to select your user from among your account followers.

After you “Invite to bind” your admin will need to scan a QR code. Once they’ve approved, you’ll receive a template message in WeChat to accept the invite.

Congratulations! You’ve now got your very own WeChat Official Account! 🚀

 

Categories
WeCom

WeChat at Work v2.4.9 Updates

WeChat at Work v2.4.9 is out today, with updates to mobile apps, desktop apps, and the admin backend. You can read the original posts in Chinese for updates to the user apps and admin backend.

The biggest update is for payments: employees can now collect payments from customers, deposited directly into your company account.

 

You can turn on the new feature (“企业买单”) from the admin backend, under payments.

For English speakers, you now have a (mostly) translated app! The previous version updated some users to English, but did not give users any way to control the language setting.

You can now select English or Chinese by going to 我 “Me”《 设置 “Settings”《通用 “General”《 语言 “Language”.

iOS users get a 3D touch menu to access frequently used features 1) share to WeChat at Work, 2) scan QR codes, and 3) my business card.

Android users get a new in-chat file sharing feature.

The desktop app gets a cleaner look and a small UI update, switching to a vertical side menu.

There’s a new quick “legal rep” verification option. Your account will display as verified to users, and you’ll get the nifty feature to customize the app launch screen.  However, you still need to verify the old way if you need more than 1,000 users.

Companies can now embed audio recordings in articles, similar to WeChat Official Accounts.

Finally, the watermark security feature that makes sharing screenshots of sensitive work conversations more difficult, has now been extend to one-to-one chats (previously only applied to group chats). You can enable this optional feature from the Admin backend.

If your company is using WeChat for internal communication, consider the free upgrade to WeChat at Work for more security, more control, and your own company app store. Check out Grata’s comprehensive bilingual Guide to WeChat at Work. Grata’s WeChat at Work apps connect customers on your WeChat subscription and service apps to your mobile workforce for on-demand customer service and sales.

 

Categories
Podcast WeCom

What is WeChat at Work? (Podcast Part 1)

Today, Andrew from Grata.co takes us on a deep dive of all the new updates to the “WeChat at Work” platform, formerly known as “WeChat Enterprise Accounts”.

Listen and subscribe to WalkTheChat and Grata’s weekly English-language podcast on all things China Digital Marketing. Available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Categories
WeCom

What is WeChat at Work?

Most companies in China use WeChat for some, or all, of their internal communication. An average employee belongs to dozens of work-related group chats for her various departments or functions. There are several common pain points for these companies which could be avoided by moving their team over to WeChat at Work (formerly WeChat Enterprise Accounts).
在中国,大多数公司都使用微信来进行内部交流。一名普通员工会有数十个与工作相关的群聊,为不同部门或职能部门聊天。对于这些公司来说,有几个常见的痛点可以通过将团队转移到企业微信上而得到解决。

WeChat at Work is a separate app download, with several upgrades you’ll notice right from the start, including out-of-office status messages, integrated task management, group chats of up to 2,000 users with stronger admin controls, and the ability to easily mute all your work chats when you clock out (automatically un-muted at the start of business the next day).
企业微信是一个独立的应用程序下载,有几个升级你从一开始就会注意到,包括外部状态信息,集成任务管理、群组聊天2000用户,提供更强的管理模式,并且能够轻松地让所有工作上的信息都在你下班后变得安静,直到第二天上班为止。

WeChat at Work allows companies to apply their own company structure on top of a private version of WeChat. When properly configured, a company can easily calibrate messaging, permissions, privacy, security, and an assortment of useful business apps across any segmentation of departments and positions. It’s a powerful suite of free software that not a lot has been written about, so Grata decided to do a deep dive on the platform and came out with this seventy-slide overview of everything you ever wanted to know about WeChat at Work. You can view and download a high-resolution PDF from SlideShare or Baidu Cloud.
企业微信允许公司将自己的公司结构应用于微信的私人版本。如果配置得当,公司可以很容易地在不同部门和职位的任何细分中对消息、权限、隐私、安全以及各种有用的业务应用进行调整。这是一个功能强大的免费软件,并不是很多人都写过的,所以Grata决定在这个平台上做深入的研究,并在微信上发布这篇关于企业微信的70页的PPT概述。你可以从SlideShare百度云查看和下载高分辨率的PDF文件。

Grata uses WeChat at Work apps to connect your mobile workforce into your company’s customer service channels. Customers on your WeChat service or subscription account can be routed to any employee on your WeChat at Work app. Contact us on our WeChat account at grata_co to find out more.
Grata开发了用企业微信应用将您的移动员工链接至公司客服的渠道。可以把客人在您的微信服务号或订阅号的路径转给在您企业微信上的任何员工。想了解更多请关注我们微信公众号grata_co,欢迎发微信咨询。