2017 WeChat Official Account Verification Policies for Foreign Universities
This blog post is written by our lead social marketer Estrella Yang.
“Can we promote our university with WeChat in China?”
This is a very common question from clients. Yes, everyone can promote their brand with China’s most popular social media marketing tool - WeChat. But using a verified WeChat official account will help you stand out.
Verification doesn’t only add authenticity, but it’s also required for running WeChat moment ads and banner ads.
- WeChat account verification is a way to build credibility in China. Followers can see the gold tick and be sure that the account is run by a genuine business.
- WeChat has its own ad system, if you want to promote your brand in this huge platform that has over 800,000,000 monthly active users, account verification is the first step.
- BTW, WeChat always changes its verification rules, so the earlier you can verify your account the better. You don’t want to be left out.
WeChat doesn’t allow organizations whose registered address is outside of mainland China to be verified. However we can still see some universities made the deal.
WeChat verification is separated into 2 parts: license verification and name verification.
For license verification, WeChat will check your Chinese business license. If you don’t have a business entity in China, you can use the license of another business. According to WeChat policies, a mainland China company license can be used to verify 50 official accounts.
For name verification, the official account name must be unique and can’t infringe on registered trademarks. More details, click here.
What’s more, WeChat official accounts can’t contain a country name, unless it’s a verified organization such as: “美国驻华领事馆商务部” (U.S. Commercial Service)
Let’s look at two situations:
- You are a foreign university and have no resident offices in China
I’m afraid you can’t verify a WeChat official account with the university’s name. WeChat only accepts a registered company in China.
Foreign universities could entrust a Chinese agency to help them submit the license to be verified, in that case they can use all verified functions and their Chinese name, but they won’t have the “v” icon. This has worked up until the end of 2016, but may or may not work in 2017.
- You are a foreign university and have resident offices in China
If you already have a registered company in China you can certainly register a WeChat official account and pass the license verification. When it comes to choosing a name, there are a couple restrictions to consider. Namely, the WeChat account name must be related to the name of the University’s Chinese business entity.
It’s best if your resident office’s Chinese name matches your university’s English name. For example, the Chinese name of University of Warwick is “英国华威大学” and it’s resident office license name is “英国华威学术有限公司北京代表处” which includes ”英国华威”. So the WeChat official account of University of Warwick’s name could be “英国华威大学”.
University of Warwick
University of Portsmouth
You’ll be a bit restricted if the resident office’s Chinese name doesn’t match your university’s English name.
Take University of New South Wales (UNSW) as an example. UNSW’s Chinese name is usually written as ”澳大利亚新南威尔士大学“, but their resident office name is ”新大香港有限公司南京代表处“. Although someone may understand that ”新大“ is the abbreviation for ”新南威尔士大学“, the official account still can’t be named ”澳大利亚新南威尔士大学”.