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Why university WeChat accounts matter, according to the stats

July 1, 2022 |   Jessica Naing

WeChat is not just another app in China. It’s China’s unrivalled king of social platforms. But it also has a particularly important role for Chinese international student recruitment. Recent research reveals the critical role a university’s WeChat account plays in successful Chinese student recruitment.

How can marketers use a WeChat account?

WeChat is used to connect with Chinese students and prospects. Unlike Western social channels, like Facebook or Instagram, WeChat is accessible within China’s mainland. You can chat directly with students, share content to followers and direct traffic to websites. You can also run paid campaigns on WeChat.

How prospects use WeChat

Almost eight in 10 Chinese students say they use WeChat to research global study – more than any other social platform. Almost seven in 10 say they would like to use WeChat to communicate with universities. However, this doesn’t mean a China-optimised website isn’t a critical consideration. A university’s own website is still the most useful resource online for prospective international students. This is true even in China, where many Western websites don’t load.


Source: QS, 2022, 'Choose your own adventure', Region: China; Field Business, 2022 QS ANZ Summit, Melbourne, 23 June.

Top five "most important" sources of information

Most popular responses to "Which five sources of information have been most useful to you when choosing a university?" from propective Chinese international students


Source: QS, 2022, 'Choose your own adventure', Region: China; Field Business, 2022 QS ANZ Summit, Melbourne, 23 June.

Account engagement matters

Research shows a university’s Chinese student numbers are positively related to its WeChat account readership. To put it simply, for every 100 article reads, there were five more Chinese students. This correlation was proven with 99% accuracy and taking into account a university’s reputation.WeChatFiveMore

Supporting students

But it’s not just about lead generation. The content you publish via your WeChat account can help support Chinese students while they’re studying. Some studies show that student’s that use WeChat more while they’re studying overseas experience less culture shock. The connected students were able to find their way around their new neighbourhoods and integrate socially with greater ease. Researchers suggest this is because they are able to share information with and be supported by other Chinese students . For this cohort, WeChat articles that help share safety resources, events and community information is key.

At Sinorbis, we suggest creating content across the full student journey. While most of the content may be targeted to brand awareness and lead generation, it’s important to consider the needs of current students, as well as alumni.

WeChat in the classroom

There’s also evidence that WeChat has been used as a successful tool to increase engagement in the classroom. In one study, a lecturer used a WeChat group to connect with Chinese international students in Chinese. The group was a forum to share information and a way to ask questions outside of the classroom. Survey results showed a large majority of students felt more engaged in the class as a result.


Connecting with alumni

WeChat allows you to connect with alumni once they’ve returned to China. There are two reasons this is important. Chinese people place more weight referrals and reviews than their western counterparts. Your current Chinese alumni are powerful ambassadors for your university. Alumni donations are also an important funding source. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, alumni donated more than $12.25 billion to universities in the US alone.


WeChat is an indispensable tool when it comes to connecting and building relationships with Chinese students. If you’re ready to create a WeChat account, we can help. Sinorbis’ all-in-one marketing platform allows you to set up and manage your university WeChat account from an intuitive interface. You can create, edit and publish content, using our beautiful templates. The platform also allows you to integrate your WeChat and China-optimised website content publishing into one simple workflow. You can see exactly what’s resonating with your followers through our analytics dashboards. Learn more about our platform and supporting services.

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