WeChat Scraping: Everything You Should Know

Scraping Robot
November 3, 2022

Calling WeChat a messaging app would be an understatement. WeChat has developed into a unique tech ecosystem with many functions and benefits for its users. With over 1 billion active monthly users, the app has also become an important source of data, and that’s where WeChat scraping comes in.

Table of Contents

This article will cover what WeChat offers, who uses WeChat, how WeChat works, and why it’s so popular. We’ll also dive into WeChat scraping APIs and how they can help businesses take advantage of the massive data available on the app.

What Is the WeChat App, Exactly?

learn about wechat

WeChat is a Chinese super app owned by Tencent technologies. It was launched in 2011 as a messaging app, similar to Whatsapp. However, it has since grown into a multifunctional online platform combining social and financial features with text, call, and video chat.

WeChat is China’s most popular mobile app, as other social media platforms are banned in China. Most Chinese users rely on WeChat to communicate with friends, but that’s not the only thing it’s used for.

The app has also gained popularity in other parts of the world, especially with people who have friends in China or businesses that sell or operate there.

So how many people use WeChat? Many! Even though setting up a WeChat account isn’t very simple, the app has over a billion active users and many more downloads. It’s already the most popular app in China, the most populated country in the world.

What is WeChat used for?

When WeChat was first launched, its primary purpose was messaging, which it still offers. But the app has evolved over the years into a super app with many features. Here’s what WeChat offers now:

  • Messaging and calls: WeChat offers messaging and phone calling over the internet. It’s similar to WhatsApp, as users can chat, and share images, videos, and locations. Typically, people have a unique QR code for adding other users present on the app. It also offers localized translation.
  • Games: WeChat also has games within its app, and users can play multiple games without needing to leave the app. This is mainly because its parent company Tencent is very active in mobile gaming.
  • Payment: Perhaps the most helpful feature of WeChat besides communication is payments. WeChat Pay is a digital wallet and online payment system integrated with the WeChat app. In China, small vendors to giant retail stores accept WeChat Pay. Users can also send money to each other and pay bills using the app’s payment feature.
  • Social media: WeChat also has features like Moments, where users can upload pictures and videos. It’s the largest social media platform in China.
  • Mini programs: WeChat has other mini-applications within the app that provide specific services, like ride-hailing.

How to set up WeChat

If you’re wondering how to create a WeChat account, it’s not as simple as creating a username or password, unfortunately. While you need to create a username and password to sign up, an existing user needs to verify the account via QR code.

Tencent has probably activated this feature to prevent fake accounts or bots. Also, the phone number is significant for signing up. It’s the second verification stage, as WeChat sends a verification code to the number.

Certain conditions exist for verifying a new user’s WeChat account. For instance, in China, the user verifying must have been using the app for at least six months to be eligible.

It’s also worth noting that WeChat doesn’t work in some countries, so setting up the app in those countries is difficult unless you use proxies or a virtual private network. For instance, WeChat is banned in India.

How do you get WeChat in the USA? Depending on your device, you can get it through the Play Store or the App Store. However, you still need another WeChat user to verify your account. It was banned briefly in the U.S., but the ban was lifted in 2021.

Why Consider WeChat Scraping?

wechat scraping

As WeChat has emerged as one of the biggest messaging and social apps in one of the world’s biggest economies, it has become vital for anyone doing business in China. People in China prefer WeChat over email, even for business communication.

The app’s significance and huge user base mean it offers a lot of valuable data.

WeChat is a social media platform and an e-commerce hub, with many businesses using it to promote their products and take payments. Brands can also use it to connect with their customers.

WeChat scraping can come in handy for collecting public data such as comments or feedback to understand user behavior better. That, in turn, can help brands gauge how well their products or services are doing. But more importantly, this data can point out the areas for improvement.

There’s so much data produced on the app. It has many active users, especially in China, but has also gained popularity in other countries. So this data might be useful for brands looking to expand into China or other countries where WeChat has a strong presence.

An app like WeChat with integrated social media can be useful to e-commerce businesses in particular. According to a publication that tracks luxury brands in China, 53% of young luxury buyers (millennials and Gen Z) and their purchase decisions are influenced by WeChat. Leveraging the data that maps out consumer buying patterns can give an e-commerce business a leg up.

One thing most people might not consider is that creating and managing multiple accounts on WeChat is a nightmare. A scraping bot can simplify account management if you use multiple WeChat accounts for private or business use. In addition, it can save you time automating simple tasks.

While a scraping bot may not be able to create accounts for you because of the difficult verification process, it can help manage the accounts once they are created.

How To Scrape WeChat

way to scrap wechat

A scraping bot can scrape useful data from users active on the WeChat platform. However, you’ll need a high-quality scraping bot to get the job done. But a scraping bot on its own is not enough to scrape WeChat data.

The app is notoriously suspicious of bots and can easily detect a scraping bot gathering data by sending too many requests simultaneously. And once it detects an account using a bot for any purpose, it will automatically block it.

A scraping bot alone won’t be enough; you’ll also need reliable proxies to prevent blocks.

Scraping Robot is your best bet if you’re looking for a bot for WeChat scraping. The scraping API can make data collection quick and seamless. Moreover, it can connect with the app without requiring much coding on your end.

All you have to do is pass your API key as a query parameter to the Scraping Robot API URL to get the data you need from users on WeChat.

Why use proxies?

Without the use of proxies, the abilities of a scraping robot are limited. This applies to most websites and applications, as many bot-catching protocols exist. You can easily get blocked through IP bans.

A proxy server hides your IP address and even allows you to change your location when browsing the internet. They can help you use WeChat and scrape data from it.

But when it comes to using the WeChat app, proxies aren’t just useful for those looking to scrape data. They can also help users in countries where the app is banned.

If you live in a country where WeChat doesn’t work but want to use it to communicate with friends or family in China, you can simply change your location with proxies. You can download the app and create an account by using a proxy with an IP address based in China or any other country where WeChat isn’t banned.

Proxies also help protect your privacy when using WeChat. As this app shares data with the government, many users are wary of using it. Proxies can help you protect yourself by masking your IP.

Best WeChat proxies

While Scraping Robot can take care of your WeChat scraping needs, you can rely on Rayobyte proxies to stay anonymous and undetected.

Rayobyte offers a wide range of proxies, from residential to data center to mobile. For WeChat scraping, residential or mobile proxies are the best choice. As these proxies come from real users with service provider IP addresses, they don’t get flagged by the bot-catching features of the WeChat app.

These ethically-sourced IPs can work seamlessly with Scraping Robot. Even if you don’t have a big budget for proxies, you can take advantage of rotating proxies. These minimize the chance of detection by switching the IP address just in time.

Ethically Scrape WeChat With Scraping Robot

ethical way to scrap

WeChat is a billion-user-strong app that provides businesses with many opportunities to grow. Whether it’s through WeChat Ads or simply communicating with customers, the app can allow businesses to spread brand awareness. But to do that effectively, you need data to create your strategy.

Scraping Robot can provide an API that works with WeChat effortlessly and taps its public data to gather useful information for your business, and Rayobyte proxies keep the operation anonymous and prevent IP bans.

All of this is achieved ethically and safely, making Rayobyte proxies and Scraping Robot the best combo for WeChat scraping.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.