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How to set up online presence in China (Part 2)
In an article posted last week, we discussed how to set up official Chinese website in China.
We also discussed the possibility of using an HTML5 file to play the function of a simple mobile website hosted in China. Apparently, besides website, online presence in China also includes presence on mainstream Chinese social media platform. This article is going to tell you how to set up a Weibo account.
Weibo isa Chinese microblogging (weibo) website. It is one of the most popular social media sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, with a market penetration similar to the United States’ Twitter. It was launched by Sina Corporation on 14 August 2009,[As of Q3 2017, Sina Weibo has over 376 million monthly active users.
Benefits of using Weibo
Weibo is one of the two mainstream social media platforms in China (the other one is WeChat). Setting up a presence on Weibo will definitely enhance your company’s brand awareness and reputation in China, as it allows word of mouth to spread from friend to friend very quickly. Besides, by monitoring what’s happening on Weibo, you can get valuable insights from various stakeholders, including potential clients, media, government departments as well as competitors. Having a presence on Weibo also enables to provide better customer service as you can engage with your customers in a timely manner.
Registering an account with Weibo
1.) Go to http://weibo.com/signup/signup.php,choose “official registration” if you want to register a company account, and then fill in the form and click on ‘Sign Up Now‘.
2.) A pop-up will appear to verify your account via a mobile phone number based on the available countries.
3.) Choose your ‘Location’ and it will automatically enter your country code. Enter your mobile phone number and click on ‘Get-A-Code for Free’. You will receive a text message with a code to enter in the code box. Click‘Submit’.
4) Then you will receive an email with a fairly long link inside and you will be asked to click that link to activate your account within 48 hours. If you do not do this within 48 hours, you will have to rerun the registration process.
5) After you activate your account, you will receive another email, confirming that your Weibo account has been successfully registered. Besides, you will be given a URL of your Weibo address. If you click that URL, you will get to a page, which asked you to do Weibo account verification.
Weibo Account Verification
Verifying your Weibo account will enhance your credibility among target audience in China. Besides, after verification, you will get access to more marketing functions. So, for a UK company, how can you verify your Weibo account?
Option 1: Verify as a company operating in China.
Under this option, you need to have a presence in China. Digipanda’s partnership with Tianjin Free Trade Zone, enables you to set up a virtual presence in China, which means you can get a China Business License withoutphysically setting up in China. With that China Business License, you can verify your Weibo account for free.
Option 2: Verify via your dealer or distributor in China.
Under this option, you need to prepare a certificate of dealership, as well as the China Business License of your dealer’s company.
Option 3:Verify as an overseas company, which means you may have to pay an extra money (1000 USD) to complete the verification process.
By the way, some agencies claim that they can help UK companies verify their Weibo account by renting the China Business License of a shell company to the UK company. At Digipanda, this is the last thing we would suggest our clients to do. First of all, the Weibo account will be bound to the name of that shell company, rather than the UK company itself, which can do little help to the branding in China of the UK company. Secondly, the UK company will lose flexibility in choosing service providers in China, because if the UK company wants to use another agency to operate its Weibo account, it will have to start from zero again.
Article by Digipanda Marketing