How to set up a Weibo Business Account and why it matters
Are you thinking about setting up a social media presence in China and don’t know where to start?
As almost all the largest social media sites from the West are blocked in China, getting in touch with the Chinese market will almost definitely involve using Weibo.
Sina Weibo is one of the biggest social media sites in China. It’s a microblogging site and is like China’s Facebook and Twitter combined. With more than 772 million monthly active users in 2018, Weibo’s user base is more than double that of Twitter’s 330 million.
Sounds great, but where do you begin? In this post, we’ll be answering some commonly asked questions. Namely:
1. How do I set up a business account?
2. Are there any alternatives to a business account?
Let’s start with the types of Weibo accounts. There are two types of accounts that you can choose from when you create a new Weibo account: a personal account and a business account.
A personal account is only for individuals. Both Chinese and foreigners can register on Weibo and use it. For businesses, you can establish your presence on Weibo through the business account.
How do you register for a business account?
You don’t need to know Chinese to sign up. There is an international version available at: https://www.weibo.com/signup/signup.php (You are automatically directed to the sign-up page if you click the link above)
We strongly recommend you use Google’s Chrome browser whenever you visit any Chinese website. The main reason is that you can instantly translate any webpage with a click of the button in case there are some Chinese text that you don’t understand.
- Click the “Official Registration” on the Weibo Setup Registration Page. You will be asked to enter the information below. Once you click “Sign Up Now”, a pop-up screen will enquire you to fill in your mobile number and enter a verification code. NOTE: The verification code is only valid within 60 seconds, and you can only obtain a verification code three times.
2. After registering, you will be lead to your account home page. But you’re not done yet! You need to verify your account via email and submit documents for a business account.
3. Verification of an business account
Now here is the difficult bit. Verification of a business account requires you to fill in company’s name, an introduction, and insert links to your company website. It will also require you to provide a contact information. The three ways to verify your company is listed below.
Verifying an account as a local company: If your company is already registered in China, you will need the following documents for verification.
1. Official information about the company that is listed on the Business License when you registered in China (Official Chinese company name, registered address, name of the director, business registration number, post code and established date).
2. Scanned copies of the company business license and certificates.
3. Once you have submitted all the required the documents, it takes around 5 days to be processed.
If your company is overseas and your company trademark is not registered in China, the process becomes even more complicated. In addition, you will have to pay a fee that will be charged depending on your current country. On average, a foreign company will have to pay between US$800 and USD$1,200.
The list of the necessary documents and information is presented below:
· All of the company’s registration documents and business licenses, together with their translations into Chinese;
· Application Letter and Third Party Authorization letter that should include the company’s seal and/or legal person’s signature;
· Purchase Order Form;
· Official website URL;
· Detailed introduction to the company’s products and/or services;
· Operation person or team contact information.
Once you have all of these documents collected and properly translated, you will need to send them to the company. It usually takes 3 days to get your account verified. You will have to pay the fee for the verification of an overseas company when you submit all the documentation to Weibo.
So after reading all of this information, some of you might be wondering if it’s worth going through all the hassle to register for a business account.
I don’t have the credentials to open a business account. Should I just register a personal account? Is it worth setting up a business account for Weibo?
Here are the differences between a personal account and business account
1. Business accounts are authenticated will have a business account “ V” on your Weibo front page to show credibility as opposed to nothing on the personal account.
2. Personal account will not require any company documents.
3. You can upgrade your personal account to a business account at any time.