Foreign brands know they need Tencent’s WeChat to sell their products to Chinese consumers, but working with WeChat mean dealing with blocks, says marketing expert Ashley Dudarenok, author of Unlocking the World’s Largest E-Market: A Guide to Selling on Chinese Social Media at AshleyTalks. Not only they have to deal with official rules, also Tencent does not like links to its direct competitors like Alibaba. How to deal with them?
Ashley Dudarenok on the official WeChat rules:
WeChat has its own rules and regulations related to external links and specifies ten types of content with external links that may be blocked. Here is the English translation:
- Content that forces or entices users to share something (e.g. a WeChat article) in order to proceed to the next step, like getting information, winning a prize or taking part in a campaign; sometimes with benefits provided, including but not limited to cash, coupons, discounts and prizes
- Content that forces or entices users to follow an official account in order to proceed to the next step, like getting information, winning a prize or taking part in a campaign
- H5 games and tests that entice users for interactions, including friend Q&A, personality tests, online fortune telling or prediction games, etc.
- Fraudulent content, including fake red packets or campaigns, and content that imitates the style and domain name of otherWeChat articles and accounts and may cause confusion
- Rumors or false information that may cause harm to individuals, corporations, or other institutions
- Spam, ads, and junk content, including information about counterfeit goods, ads making fraudulent claims, ads for cryptocurrencies, etc.
- Content with sensational, exaggerated, or misleading headlines that don’t match the content as well as pornographic, erotic, and vulgar content
- Content designed for the collection of users’ personal data or information without the user’s knowledge or consent
- Content soliciting donations to religious organizations
- Content offering payment for votes
According to WeChat’s regulations, once found, these external links will be blocked immediately and the related official account may also be sanctioned. In the worst case scenario, this can lead to a permanent ban.
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