Weibo is a microblogging site in China that, as of 2018, is thought to have about 445 million active monthly users. The site has more features on one platform than Western social media sites, so it isn’t really equivalent to platforms like Twitter or Facebook, although it does have many features in common with both.
What makes it different from other social media is its use by TV networks and news organisations to disseminate information. The platform evolved since its launch in 2009 to become an integral part of Chinese daily life. While other social media apps have entered the regional market, Weibo continues to be a platform of choice for celebrities and large corporations, such as Coca-Cola and the Australian Tourism Board.
A corporate account means that you have a verified official account that serves as a party of public interest. Unlike opening a corporate account on other platforms, you are required to submit official documentation to Sina (Sina Weibo’s operating company) to prove the legality of your business. However, once your corporate account is approved, you are given access to a huge audience, including other B2Bs.
- Official accounts are issued a blue ID badge giving credibility
- You have access to:
Brand building services
Online shop with Weibo Window
The platform is focused on content-driven marketing and can connect influencers and businesses to boost sales. The algorithm removes much of the work of your marketeers by finding the right people who have the attention of the audience that you want to connect with.
To open a corporate account
Register a new account
Go to http://e.weibo.com/register/register and use the drop-down on the right to change the language options if needed. Follow the prompts.
Screen shot from site 2019
Go to your email account used for registration and activate your Weibo account.
3. Certification Home
Log in to your account on Weibo. You should be directed to the Certification Home where you need to fill in company information for verification. Once approved your account will be issued with a blue badge to identify you as a business.
Verification for foreign companies requires a few more steps
- A foreign company with a Chinese business license
Verify your account like a local China company, which costs ¥300 per year or about €2.50 per year.
You need to supply
-Certification/business description (less than 30 words and without adjectives)
-Business name (full name on business license)
-Business license registration number
-Operator mobile number (SMS verification required)
-Operator’s alternate contact number
-Operator’s email address
Verification documents (upload)
-Authentication application letter (with official business seal) (downloadable on Weibo)
-Trademark Registration Certificate
- A foreign company without a Chinese business license
- With trademark registered in China, or an official dealer/agent in China
If your trademark is registered in China, you can apply to open a Weibo account through an official dealer/agent at a cost of ¥300 per year.
Extra documents needed
-Certificate of dealership (to prove the legality of your dealer’s or distributor’s operations with your products in China)
-Chinese business license of your dealer or distributor
- For companies new to the Chinese market, you need to register a new foreign business account. Weibo charges enterprises, websites and educational institutions US$1,000 for document verification, translation, and notarization. Verification for government, media, application developers, public interest groups, and non-profit organizations are (currently) free of charge.
Extra documents needed
-Overseas business license/registration documents of the company with certified Chinese translation
-Authentication Application letter (include Company’s seal or legal person’s signature)
-Third-party authorization letter (include Company’s seal or legal person’s signature)
These documents should be sent to [email protected]
Although it is a lengthy process for foreign businesses, market opportunities are massive. The site does much of the work of connecting you with the right clients automatically. Weibo is a part of everyday life for business people in China who are commuting, shopping online and checking news updates. Access to B2B partners in China can start with your presence on the platform and take on fast organic growth with the right attention.
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