In this post, I’m going to show you how to set up an account on China’s “super-app”—WeChat. 

With over 1.2 billion active monthly users, WeChat is definitely worthy of its “super” title. 

China has its own digital ecosystem, and you can’t use Western social media apps or platforms in China without a VPN.

Therefore, you’ll need WeChat if you want to

  • communicate with friends in one-on-one or group chats,
  • pay for goods and bills, 
  • book taxis and train tickets,
  • follow your favorite brands, companies, and content creators on WeChat Channels, and
  • much more.

If you’re not using WeChat in China, you’re missing out or making life unnecessarily difficult for yourself.

In this post, I’ll be demonstrating using an Android device, but it’ll be very similar if you are using an Apple device.

You can also see a video version here:


Install WeChat

If you’re outside of China, start by searching for “Weixin” or “WeChat” in Google Play (formerly Google Play Store).

searching for “Weixin” or “WeChat” in Google Play

Installing the app and opening it up, you have two options: Log in or sign up.

WeChat page of Log in or sign up options

In this case, you want to “Sign up via Mobile” and not Facebook because that can throw a few extra complications into the process.

To sign up, you need to fill in the usual information.

Information fill-in to sign up a Wehat account

Once you’ve confirmed that you have read the terms of service and clicked “Accept and Continue,” you’ll be forwarded to a security verification screen to complete a CAPTCHA puzzle.

Captcha page

Now for the tricky part (I get a lot of messages about this in my other videos).


Invite Another User

IMPORTANT: You will need a friend already on WeChat to help you set up your account.

According to WeChat’s rules, an established user needs to scan a new user’s QR code to verify the account and prove they are not a bot or a scammer. 

If you don’t already have a friend who’s a user, I’d be curious why you might want to set up an account (maybe you want to check content).

Invite another WeChat user to scan the QR code

You’ll need your friend to scan the QR code with their WeChat account to confirm you’re not doing anything malicious. 

After that, you’ll have to receive an SMS code to complete the verification process. 

SMS code

When the code’s been accepted, you’ll be forwarded to the “Find Friends” screen.

(We’ll get on to adding contacts in a moment.)

Skipping this step, you’ll be asked to consent to things like “Receive Notifications.”


Profile Setup

Once you’re in, you’ll need to complete your user profile.

WeChat profile page

You might want to change your default WeChat ID, which is a long string of digits and letters beginning with “wxid.”

Click on WeChat ID, select “Change WeChat ID” at the bottom of the screen, and then enter your password on the next screen. 

Enter new WeChat ID screen

It’s worth mentioning that you can only change your WeChat ID once a year, so make sure it’s something you’re happy with, and it’s all spelled correctly.

The app will remind you of this before you commit.

Reminder about only being changed

If it’s all gone to plan, you should be able to see your new WeChat ID back on the profile screen.

Profile page with changed ID

Add Contacts

If people in China want to exchange contact details with you, they will ask you to share QR codes.

Add contacts option visible

To do this, click the “+” symbol at the top right of the screen and then select “Add Contacts.”

This will bring up a list of options for adding new contacts. 

Add contacts lists

You’ll want the “Scan” option (fourth one down).

The first time you do this, you’ll be asked for consent; however, once you’ve given permission, you’re ready to go. 

Now, you’re ready to scan your new contact’s QR code.

Scanning contact’s QR code

When your phone recognizes the recipient’s QR code, it will bring up their profile and give you the option to “Add to Contacts.”

Add to the Contacts page

To add someone to your contacts, you’ll need to send them a friend request. 

Friend request page

As you can see in the image above, there’s a default message identifying you, but you can change that. 

In addition, you can also change the other settings to control how much of your profile is visible to the new contact.

Clicking “Send” at the bottom completes the request.

Now, it’s just a case of waiting for them to accept, and then you can start chatting. 

chat page after adding the contacts


WeChat Features

WeChat offers more than just chatting. 

To see what else is available, click on the “Discover” tab at the bottom of the screen. 

discover button

On the next screen, you’ll see the options for “Channels” which are short videos posted by content creators and users. 

discover screen

WeChat “Moments” is a feed that contains public videos or photos posted by your friends. (If you have no contacts, nothing will be displayed here.)

The next step would be to set up your WeChat Pay so you can start purchasing goods and making payments, but that topic deserves a separate post. 


Contact Us

I hope it was easy enough for you to set up your WeChat account following these instructions.

Feel free to leave a comment to tell me why you’re creating a WeChat account.

If you have any questions about WeChat or how to market your brand or business in China, you can set up a free consultation here.

For more information on WeChat or Chinese marketing in general, see our China Digital Marketing 101 page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Start With a Free Consultation

Contact us for a free initial consultation. Whether it’s through email, chat, or a scheduled video meeting, we’re here to help.

We’ll identify the potential obstacles hindering your expansion in China, and we’ll recommend the best course of action based on your individual needs.

If you think we’re a good fit, you’ll receive a proposal within a week.

    This site is registered on as a development site.