Wechat/Weixin, the Chinese social network

Published on 28/06/2021

Did you know that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are blocked in China? But this is not really a problem for the Chinese inhabitants. In China, many social media platforms have emerged. Among them, WeChat.

WeChat is the first app to reach 1 billion active users and the fourth most visited app per day, after WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook.

This free instant messaging application offers a variety of features. For example, you can share videos, pictures, games, stickers and also connect with your friends through WeChat Moments and make video calls.

This social network is essential for gaining internet visibility in China.


1. History of the Chinese Facebook

History of  the Chinese Facebook

The first version of WeChat was created in 2011, it did not offer anything special at that time, it was just another messaging and photo sharing app. That's why it wasn't a big hit when it came out.

Three months later, the application's developers decided to react to this by adding a very useful feature: sending voice messages. This development has made everyday life easier for millions of Chinese people as it saves time compared to typing in Chinese ideograms.

Apple also launched its voice messaging feature in iMessage a few months later, (coincidence?).

The creation of new elements such as:

  • Official accounts
  • WeChat Moments
  • Sending the red "Hongbao" envelopes
  • WeChat Pay, the online payment solution for the WeChat application
  • The ability to use QR codes for many actions have been important strategic levers and have contributed to making WeChat a remarkable communication platform and social network.

2. Weixin or WeChat? 

Weixin or WeChat

Why are there two different names?

In fact, Weixin is the term used by users in China , while WeChat is the term used by users in the rest of the world. But it is not just a different name.

Indeed, although the interface is the same and the main functions are similar, these two applications are different.

The servers are not the same, so your data is not stored in the same place. So if you want to target Chinese users you will have to use Weixin, but if you want to target other users around the world you will have to use WeChat.

3. Weixin, the essential platform for your business


To promote your brand and increase your sales, Weixin is a very good channel to use.
It is possible to link the Weixin platform to your website or to create an e-commerce page directly on Weixin thanks to the its mini-programs .

These mini-programs are advanced functionalities that allow you to manage tasks, create an e-commerce site directly on the platform or offer discount coupons and thus enrich the user experience.

There is one very important thing to bear in mind:  You need to have a legal entity and a Chinese phone number for Chinese users to be able to see your account.

4. Two types of official company accounts

Two types of official company accounts

There are two types of official company accounts on WeChat/Weixin:

Subscription accounts: these are similar to Facebook pages. This type of account is interesting for your content marketing. In fact, you can publish a group messages per day with up to 6 articles to spread information to users.

Service accounts: you can send a certain number of professional messages per month directly to your subscribers' conversations. In addition, a service account, has many benefits such as access to WeChat Pay, WeChat Stores or mini-programs.

5. Gaining a reputation

Gaining a reputation

WeChat Moments is similar to the news feed you see on Facebook. By sharing content, you will help to connect with your (potential) customers customers.

People especially like the QR codeconcept, so you should share your WeChat-account’s QR code. This will make it easier for users to find you.

You can also increase your brand awareness by adding banners at the end of articles or ads in users' feeds. Also, encourage the users to:

  • Redirect them to another page,
  • download an application,
  • buy a product,
  • subscribe to a page,
  • get a coupon
  • etc.

Don't hesitate to use key opinion leaders (KOLs) to represent your brand. These influencers have a real impact on Chinese consumer behaviour.

To succeed on the Chinese market, it is essential to adapt to the Chinese digital ecosystem and cultural habits. To achieve this, it is necessary to use native speakers for the translation of all your marketing content.

Use a translation agency specialised in marketing translation to translate your online publications. We would be happy to offer creative and accurate translations.

Sana Tayssir's picture
Sana Tayssir

Marketing and sales assistant at AbroadLink Traductions. Sana Tayssir is currently in her second year of a Master's degree in English at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in English language, literature and civilization.

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