Setting Up a PPC Account on ANY of China's Major Search Engines, In One Simple Image

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:49

 How to setup Chinese search engine marketing account

One of the most common questions we get from our readers is about what’s required to setup an account on Chinese search engines.  To make life easier, we’ve put everything you need to know into one simple image.

Notice there’s nothing about having a Chinese company or hosting in China.  That’s because these things don't matter for setting up a paid search account.

As long as you can provide the proper documentation, having a foreign business will not preclude you from setting up an account.    

Just to add a few more details to the above graphic:

  • Only the “About Us” and “Contact” pages need to have Chinese content on them.  It doesn’t have to be much either, just enough so that people can quickly figure out what your business does and how you can be contacted.  However, your campaign is not going to perform well if you have English content on the rest of the site, so it’s best to have the whole site translated.  If creating Chinese content for your site is an issue, we can give you a hand
  • Below is an example of a company (KFC) listed on its relevant corporate registration site.  Keep in mind that this is all publicly available information.  You can find the relevant corporate registry for your business by googling “corporate registry” + your state or country.  

Corporate registration check

  • Qihoo 360 requires a scan of your overseas server registration documentation and utility bills from the last 3 months to confirm that your company is operating normally.  

Any Exceptions?

A few select industries like food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and finance may need to provide additional documentation before the account is approved.  For example, a food and beverage company will typically need to provide something from the FDA (or other regulatory body) showing that its products are safe for consumption.  But don’t let this worry you too much.  You won’t be required to submit more than a couple extra documents. 

In general, provided you aren’t an arms dealer, political activist, or casino owner, setting up an account is not a problem.  Any additional required documentation will be made known to you after the standard documents are submitted.    

What’s Next?

So what do you do after you get all of these documents together?  You’ll want to find an agency to help you setup the account, as Baidu, Sogou, and Qihoo 360 generally don’t deal directly with end users.  Plus, there’s also that pesky language issue.  

If you’re concerned about paying an agency for its services only to find there’s a problem with setting up your account, don’t be; any reputable agency will refund your money in the event it can’t get your account setup.  We’ve setup our share of paid search accounts over the last 6 years, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need some help getting started. 

Any other questions about setting up a PPC account on Chinese search engines?  Let me know in the comments and I'll get back to you ASAP.  




Hi Devin,
thank you for your article.
Our company is based in Switzerland and are looking to set up a tuiguang account.
However they required a Chinese mobile phone number, which we clearly don't have.
How did you help your clients to deal with this problem?

Many thanks,

 Hi Mengzhi,
Thanks for reading the blog.  We use our own Chinese mobile number to get past this.  One other note: In just the few weeks since I wrote this blog Baidu has also upped it's requirements so that people need a mobile responsive site in order to setup an account.  It's part of Baidu's big push to optimize mobile user experience.  Devin

Hi Devin,

thanks for sharing your knowledge about this topic.

I just had a meeting with Baidu yesterday, and they told me we need a Chinese business license which includes food products to do advertisement for an online shop which also offers some food products.

The attitude of Baidu is really laid back, they dont even have the international department they referring to on their website. Also my feeling is the sales team has no idea about their own regulations, they couldnt answer my questions at all.

Our case is a bit complicated we are a German trading company with a Chinese entity to market our products in China. We have own products and we are official representative of other brands. So we want to do online marketing for a lot of different brand websites, some are hosted in China some are hosted in Hongkong or Germany. They really cannot tell me which documents they need for each case, but I will keep going to find it out.

Haosou and Sogou are not better, they never had foreign clients before and dont know how to handle this case.

Wish me luck!

Hi Karo,
You're definitely right about Baidu being a bit disorganized and challenging to work with.  This is the nature of virtually all major internet companies in China, whether it's Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, etc.  Lots of requirements and even their own employees don't really seem to understand them.  And things change quickly.  
We've setup a lot of Baidu accounts though, and the requirements listed above remain consistent.  The hosting aspect of your different brand websites shouldn't affect the requirements.  But getting an account setup for a business that includes food products generally does take longer.  They always ask for some kind of formal documentation proving that the products are safe for consumption.  
In any event, good luck.  On the bright side, once you get the account setup things generally go a lot more smoothly.  : )

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