WeChat vs. WeChat Work

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WeChat plays a significant role in every Chinese’s everyday life as they connect with others using this multi-purpose social platform. Even China’s business landscape sees widespread use of the application as both the customers and the firms use it to have a more convenient channel of communications to transact business.

Chinese traders and bankers use WeChat to make deals even though it isn’t designed for business use. Around 80% of all Chinese WeChat users perform professional tasks using the app in their companies, which results from the application’s mass adoption in the country. Because most Chinese businesses use WeChat, foreign clients and business partners also need to use it to communicate with each other.

Since most WeChat users use it for work purposes, WeChat Work was developed to cater to the employees’ and companies’ needs. US-based businesses will need to comply with WeChat FINRA data retention requirements. EU-based ones and UK-companies need to comply with WeChat MiFID II and WeChat FCA, respectively.

What is WeChat?

WeChat is a mobile text and voice messaging application developed by Tencent in China that is first released in January 2011. This app is available on Android, iPhone, and other devices.

WeChat is currently China’s most popular messaging application, with over 1 billion people using it. WeChat is similar to WhatsApp in that it is a messaging application used to communicate with one another. Most people prefer using the app than email when doing business in the country.

WeChat has many different features, including video chat, voice calls, SMS, games, QR code scanning, and more.

What is WeChat Work?

WeChat Work is designed as an instant messaging application for internal communications and management. WeChat Work is now a digital ecosystem that connects various corporate organizations, services, and consumers. WeChat Work users will see that the app has the same communication experience as the standard WeChat application, albeit more professional than others.

WeChat Work was developed since there was friction between management and employees regarding WeChat usage. Tencent first addressed the issue using Enterprise Accounts that worked within WeChat during the fall of 2014 and Enterprise Messaging in the summer of 2015. Tencent then broke out the enterprise function into a separate app that became WeChat Work in April 2016.

The WeChat Work application is better suited for companies than the standard app, especially since its internal communication features are more advanced than WeChat. The application is limited to enterprises, government bodies, and organizations in Mainland China.

Have Better Control Over Internal Communication

Compared to the standard WeChat application, WeChat Work’s communication features are more advanced as it can accommodate up to 2,000 users in a group chat. It has other features, including to-do lists, seeing whether a message is read or not, and admins being able to mute members. By using WeChat Work, the customers’ contact information won’t remain as the employees’ private contact when the employee leaves the company.

Internal contacts can be segregated into different departments and be assigned varying permission levels. External communications can also be separated to avoid any miscommunications. Admins can also access exclusive company management features, including adding or modifying departments, setting user roles, checking weekly summary member usage, and others.

Companies also won’t have to deal with shared files in WeChat groups expiring within a matter of days. The files sent in WeChat Work group chats can be retained in the cloud storage for six months.

Unfortunately, since WeChat Work disabled enterprise messaging API, companies could no longer sync company chats to company servers. Businesses in industries with compliance obligations, however, may be able to access chat history when they know someone at Tencent to help them.

Separate Personal Space from the Workplace

WeChat Work can also get users to focus on work-related activities alone by separating personal space from the workspace. Using the application, employees can send work-related messages without accidentally sending them to friends and families since the contacts are segregated.

Outside of work hours, employees can set up dedicated away messages, including “take a break” or “get off work” statuses. The company can also automatically remove a former employee from multiple group chats at once.

Access Tailor-made Integrated Apps for Business Operations

The standard WeChat application cannot integrate different tailor-made apps to streamline business processes. WeChat Work users can take advantage of reports, business expenses approvals, employees punch in/out, company-paid calls, and enterprise emails by integrating applications into the messaging app.

People can also use third-party apps like a mobile office, CRM, human resources, workflow management, and others that can be added on demand. Admins can also use specific applications that regular users have no access to. The admin-only option can be accessed via Workspace> Manage Company > Log in to the Web admin platform.

Advanced Integration with WeChat

WeChat is mostly used for internal communications, and it is useful for separating personal spaces from business ones, but people can seamlessly integrate their official account with the Work platform. Customers can use the “chat with us” feature in the official account and send their inquiries to sales agents who will, in turn, view the messages and respond to them in the Work account.

The sales and customer service teams can communicate more effectively with their clients and customers, thanks to the streamlined communications system. The customers can also be directed to the right sales or customer service agent after making their inquiries.

Differences in Features

As stated above, most of WeChat Work’s features are focused on streamlining business communications while the standard WeChat’s features focus on improving the personal experience. Below are the different features of both applications.

FeaturesWeChatWeChat Work
Voice CallsYesAdmin can turn on/off
Video CallsYesAdmin can turn on/off
Message RecallYesYes
Admin Backend (Admin approvals on adding participants in a group chat, including easy removal of members)NoYes
Third-Party Apps


YesYes, Admin can enable it
(including CRM, accounting, team building, human resources, training, and workflow)
Create as many official internal accounts and groupsNoYes, Admin has control on creating accounts and groups
Group Chat BotsNoYes, Admin can add bots
WeChat LocalizationYesYes
Scan QR CodeYesYes
WeChat Search EngineYesYes
WeChat Moments


(Company Moments)
WeChat Pay


(Company Pay Admin can enable it)
Card Repay


(Company Pay)
Clock In/Out SystemNoYes
Company Paid CallsNoYes
Link App to Company EmailNoYes
File Disk SpaceNoYes
Task ManagerNoYes
Integration with WeChat Official AccountsNoYes



Thanks to WeChat’s popularity in China, more and more businesses aiming to get clients and business partners in the country will need to use WeChat work and take advantage of its features to communicate with their Chinese partners. Companies in countries where strict data protection laws are in place will need to comply with regulations while using the app to mitigate compliance risks. Such firms will need to use efficient WeChat monitoring solutions to ensure compliance.

Robust WeChat Archiving solutions are essential for businesses to connect with clients with lesser worries of experiencing data breaches. Using the standard WeChat can lead to compliance and regulatory risks due to its lack of end-to-end encryption.

TeleMessage captures and retains mobile content, including mobile SMS messages, voice calls, and WeChat conversations from corporate or BYOD mobile phones to ensure compliance with various data protection regulations. The messages are securely and reliably retained within TeleMessage servers or forwarded to a company’s choice archiving data storage vendor.

Our mobile archiving products securely record content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for various ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving solutions, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements:

TeleMessage offers cross-carrier and international mobile text & calls archiving for corporate and BYOD phones. Visit our website at www.telemessage.com to learn more about our mobile archiving products.

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