What are the differences between WeChat’s Service and Subscription Accounts?

As the WeChat Public Platform (微信公众平台 or Wēixìn gōngzhòng píngtái) is still a relatively new phenomenon for most organizations, we frequently get asked about the basics of WeChat Official Accounts. One of the first things to decide as a business is what type of account to register.

When registering a WeChat Official Account, organizations can choose either a subscription account (订阅号 or dìng yuè hào) or a service account (服务号 or fú wù hào).  If you are a registering as an individual, you can only register a subscription account. Businesses have the further option of verifying an official account to rank higher in search results, get a gold badge next to their account name, and have access to even more platform features.

We break down the differences in the graphic below, but in the most simplest terms, subscription accounts are for pushing content and service accounts are for advanced features such as interactive menus, customer service, and e-commerce. Check out our additional infographic for the full list of WeChat Public Platform features and developer tools.

Tencent is constantly making updates to WeChat Official Accounts so expect these details to change. For example, the most recent tweak on April 15th increased service accounts broadcast message quota from once per month to four times monthly.

WeChat Official Accounts Infographic

WeChat Official Accounts - Differences between WeChat Service Accounts and Subscription Accounts

46 thoughts on “What are the differences between WeChat’s Service and Subscription Accounts?

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Jogan, you have a couple options. A Chinese citizen can register an official account and businesses outside of China can register official accounts without official business registration. These both have limitations. Individual official accounts cannot go through the verification process, so don’t have access to the full WeChat API. International accounts are in an entirely different system and are NOT visible to Chinese WeChat users. If you need to have a full-feature, verified official account there are service providers that can help you register for a fee. Get in touch with us by private message for details.

      1. Connie Lim

        Is it possible for us to apply an wechat official account? We are from Malaysia and we have already pass our application to Wechat Official Website but still never getting any feedback from them. We would appreciate if you can help us about this issue. Thanks.

        1. Grata Admin Post author

          Hi Connie, we have asked Tencent about this before. Email to bd@wechat.com is still the official channel, but account registration process isn’t fully supported yet. The best way is to reach out to someone on the team. I’m sending you an email now with a personal contact at Tencent who can hopefully speed things up. Also, please note from our other posts that international WeChat official accounts are not visible for Chinese WeiXin users.

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  3. miah

    We are international company based in Malaysia, and we have submitted application to Wechat Official Website but never getting any feedback. We also planning to open an account for sister company in Hong Kong. we would very much appreciate if you can help us about this. Thank you.

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  7. Alessandra

    We’re a Italian jewelry brand, we export our items in China and would like to open a wechat officila account. What documents do we need to do it? And what is the cost for month? And if I create our official company account will it be reachable/accessible for Chinese people? Thank you in advance! A.

    1. Grata Post author

      Hi Alessandra, please reference this post on account registration: http://blog.grata.co/register-wechat-official-account. The short answer is you must register a Chinese Official Account if you want to be accessible to Chinese users, this will require a Chinese business license. If you have a Chinese business partner, they could help you register an account. There is no cost to register, but there is a 300RMB (~35 Euros) annual fee if you choose to verify your account to get access to the many advanced API/features.

      1. Devin

        I am interested in learning more about the possibility of my mainland-licensed service-business offering and managing official mainland accounts for my non-mainland clients. What insights do you have on the required “scope” necessary for approval or limitations/restrictions for third party management of official accounts?

        1. Grata Post author

          Hi Devin, it’s all a bit opaque, but a problem I would be very interested in solving as well! You wouldn’t likely have a problem registering and verifying several accounts for clients. I assume there are small risks for registering certain types of businesses, at a certain scale, and at a certain total number of accounts tied to your one business license. I’ve asked several contacts and Tencent and haven’t gotten an answer yet.

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  17. Marion


    Is it possible to switch from a subscription to a service account? Or you need to create a additional one? And are there some fees differences between the two types of account?

    1. Grata Post author

      Hi Marion, it is not possible to switch. You would need to register a new account. WeChat does not charge any fees for registering an Official Account. For Chinese organizations choosing to have their subscription or service account verified, there is a 300RMB annual fee paid to a third-party auditor.

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  19. Ryan

    As a company with an office based in Shanghai, but registered in HK can we still set up a Subscription Account? I’m emailing my request to bd@wechat.com now, but I saw the Grata admin’s comment above suggesting the best way to move forward was to get in touch with someone on the Wechat or Tencent team directly. Could you offer some advice?

    1. Grata Post author

      Hi Ryan, WeChat recently updated their international Official Account page at admin.wechat.com. There’s a Q&A section that mentions: “How to register an official account? Users in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and India can apply for an official account via http://apply.wechat.com/, and users in other regions can directly mail to bd@wechat.com.” Make sure you understand the difference between international and Chinese Official Accounts as this process if for an international account that Chinese WeChat users will not be able to access.

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  21. Dounya

    Would it be possible to create both a Subscription and Service account for the same company? Thank you in advance for your feedback!

    1. Grata Post author

      We can’t say with confidence for international markets. In China, businesses can register multiple subscription and service accounts. We generally advise against this strategy as it can create confusion for your followers regarding which account to follow. Default recommendation continues to be one service account for your brand.

  22. Alex

    May I know which account should we apply (from Malaysia) & what should we do, if we want to get hold of all the Chinese Wechat users from China, just for the customer service purpose for answer their queries online?

    1. Grata Post author

      Hi Alex, you’ll need to register a Chinese Official Account if you want to have access to Chinese WeChat users. WeChat is allowing local Chinese agencies to register accounts for international companies now. If you are registering for Customer Service purposes, we recommend a Service account.

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