Do you remember the days when it was impossible to change the ownership of your registered WeChat Official Account?I am happy to inform you that since last week, Tencent finally decided to modify this process! Therefore, from now on companies are allowed to switch the ownership of their WeChat Official Account.
What is a WeChat Official Account?
A WeChat official account is a powerful tool to promote your business in China, it basically works like a Facebook Page but appears directly in the chat section of WeChat (or within a specific folder in the chat section). With a WeChat or Weixin Official Accounts you can gain followers to redirect them to your website, ecommerce solution (ecommerce website, WeChat Store, Mini Program) by publishing attractive articles or offers.
What was the previous situation of the WeChat OA?
The previous situation of the WeChat Official Account was quite bothersome. A company that had a WeChat Official Account could not change its registered account holder. Which meant that it was impossible to sell their account or even change the legal ownership.
What was the problem with non-transferable WeChat Official Accounts?
- If the company wanted to change or sell the actual account, it had to start all over from scratch. That meant that they had to create a new WeChat Official Account which required the acquisition of followers from the previous account.
- A company faced serious business risks when a third party was registering their WeChat Official Account because then they were forever dependent on the said third party.
- It was possible that some companies were facing some separation between their WeChat Official Account's owner and their actual business ownership.
So, it is possible to transfer your WeChat Official Account?
From now on, Tencent has made it possible to swicht the WeChat Official Account from one company to another. That includes:
- WeChat followers
- Article drafts
Even though this new process is now available, there are still some requirements that companies have to meet in order to transfer the ownership. Moreover, the Personal and International Official Account (registered through a foreign business license) cannot be transferred.
What are the requirements to transfer a WeChat Official Account?
Tencent has established three requirements that need to be met if you want to transfer a WeChat Official Account to another company:
- The new WeChat Official Account must be a verified account.
- The new WeChat Official Account must have less than 1,000 followers.
- The original WeChat Official Account must be registered with a Chinese business license (Service or Subscription account).
What will be the cost of Transfer a WeChat OA and how long it will take?
The cost of transfer a WeChat official account is 300 CNY, and it will take between 7 and 10 business days to be completed.
Steps To Transfer a WeChat Official Account
Let’s look at the different steps to transfer a WeChat Official Account trough the WeChat´s Admin Platform:
- Log into your WeChat Official Account Admin backend, go to 公众号设置 on the left side menu. Next to Business Entity (主体信息), click on Account Transfer (账号迁移).
- On your WeChat Admin panel click on the green Transfer button (迁移). To approve this step, the administrator of the original Official Account has to scan a QR code.
- Once that is done, you will have to download and fill out the form labeled “WeChat Official Account transfer”, sign it, and apply the company seal of both companies.
- You will have to go to a local Notary Public Office (公正机关) to validate the account transfer form in the previous step. It should take 1-2 business days.
- Fill in the cell phone number of the original Official Account owner to receive a verification number. Then in the next cell, write the cell phone number of the new administrator to receive another verification number.
- You can then rename the account or keep the old account’s name.
- Enter the Fapiao (receipt) information.
- Make the payment of 300 CNY through WeChat payment.
Once all these steps are completed, Tencent will take between one and three business days to validate the transfer. When the transfer is done, the original WeChat followers will be transferred automatically to the new one, they will receive a notification about it, and the original WeChat Official Account will be deleted.
How to manage your WeChat Official Account?
Now that you have transferred your official account, it is time to take the most of it. This is a key step to promote your business in China through WeChat, so we have created a guide for you where we explain the basics and all the tricks to craft a successful marketing campaign with WeChat:
What Is The Next Step For You?
With this new transfer process available from Tencent, there are now fewer risks for foreign business that wants to go to the Chinese market because the transfer issue of the WeChat Official Account ownership has been removed. Therefore, if you are interested in building a WeChat app or site and are looking for experts to help with the process don't hesitate to contact us.