How WeChat Scraping Can Help Your Business (And More About WeChat!)

Collecting public data from various social media websites and instant messaging apps for business use is hardly new. Each year, increasingly stringent privacy regulations designed to thwart those with malicious intent have reduced the amount of available data. This has been a roadblock for businesses that rely on public data willingly furnished by social media users. Some businesses have begun employing web scraping to circumvent these increased privacy measures while collecting the maximum amount of legitimately available public data.

In this article, we will discuss a popular social app called WeChat: What it is, who uses it, and why it has gained popularity over the years, as well as how to create a WeChat account. We will also discuss how web scraping publicly available data on WeChat can be valuable for your business. For those in a country where WeChat is not available, we will also cover how to use WeChat to connect with your friends using proxy servers. Finally, we will go into WeChat scraping, ethical web scraping practices, and some tools that can assist you with both.

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What Is the WeChat App?

What Is the WeChat App?

WeChat is one of the world’s most popular social media messaging apps. The app supports text, video, and voice chat and offers unique features like localized translation, mini-programs, and payments.

How many people use WeChat? 

This massively popular social media messaging app has over 1.2 billion monthly users. That’s more people than the populations of Russia and Brazil combined!

Who uses WeChat?

Although WeChat is a Chinese-made app predominantly used in China (where it is known as Weixin), there are WeChat users worldwide. Approximately 100 million to 250 million WeChat users live outside of China. About 78% of people in China between the ages of 18 and 64 use WeChat.

Due to an increasing number of features that enable work-related tasks, 90% of Chinese professionals prefer WeChat for workplace communications.

What is WeChat used for?

Although WeChat began as a messaging service, it has morphed into a catchall app where you can do everything from making payments to summoning a ride to booking airline tickets. It offers a wide variety of services, such as:


One of the primary uses of WeChat is messaging via text, video, or voice. The app also has a feature called WeChat Out, which allows you to call international landlines at a low rate. WeChat Out comes with a localization feature that translates messages and content between 20 different languages.

You can also perform instant money transfers to and from your WeChat contacts using the messaging function, making it possible to split bills and so on.

Social media features

One such feature is called “Moments,” which allows the user to upload several pictures or videos; their friends can then comment on or like the post.


At almost any business in China, from large supermarkets to taxi cabs and even street vendors, you can pay with WeChat. As long as you have a Chinese bank account, you can link it to WeChat and use it to pay at the point of sale. WeChat payments are also used for online purchases on Chinese websites using a pass code or biometric authentication tools such as fingerprint ID or facial scan.

Thanks to WeChat, it is possible to leave the house without a wallet in China and be nearly cashless. You can even apply for a loan within the app!

Mini programs

WeChat has been described as a “super app” in which everything is seamlessly integrated into one application. So many services are built into WeChat that it has become a one-stop shop for its users. These mini-programs essentially cover all aspects of a user’s daily life.

Instead of creating stand-alone apps, some companies choose to launch mini-programs or apps within WeChat. The program allows companies to send promotional messages directly to WeChat users by tapping into the app’s billion-strong user base. Mini-programs have become so plentiful within WeChat that the feature now has its own in-app page.

Other features

There are many other uses for WeChat, including playing games within the app, wealth management, and topping up your mobile phone.

Why has WeChat gained popularity over the years?

Although its creators launched WeChat in 2011 as a messaging service, it is now China’s number one social media app and multipurpose platform for multiple reasons:

  • It has many features
  • Boasts a massive user base
  • Unlike foreign social media sites and apps, it is not blocked by the Chinese government
  • Can make mobile payments and function as a virtual wallet
  • It has a business-friendly interface that allows companies to have an official account within the app and accept payments

By offering unparalleled functionality for users and allowing businesses to tap into its massive user base, WeChat has become the go-to app for most of China and many users worldwide.

How Does WeChat Work?

How Does WeChat Work?

Unlike most social media apps, users do not have the option to sign up for WeChat at will. If you’re wondering how to set up WeChat, you might be surprised to learn that you must receive verification from someone who already uses the app before you can sign up.

How to create a WeChat account

The steps to sign up for WeChat are as follows:

  1. Download the WeChat app.
  2. Launch the app and tap “Sign Up.”
  3. Sign in using your phone number or one of the other methods offered.
  4. Set your avatar, username, and password.
  5. Agree to the Terms of Service and WeChat’s privacy terms.
  6. Solve a simple puzzle for security verification

After successfully solving the puzzle, the app will provide you with a QR code and instructions on how to get verified.

How to use WeChat

Once you receive the QR code, you must contact a WeChat user who meets several conditions, which include not being blocked or helping another friend register in the past month. That user will scan your QR code and enter your phone number. WeChat then sends you a verification code, which you enter into the app to activate your account.

From there, the WeChat app is yours to explore!

Public Data That Can Be Collected From WeChat With a Scraping API

Public Data That Can Be Collected From WeChat With a Scraping API

Since any information a user provides within their publicly visible WeChat profile can be accessed ethically by companies collecting data, you can use this wealth of information to your advantage. By filtering WeChat user data by criteria specific to your business, you can determine which users may be potential customers and tailor your marketing campaigns to attract those users.

Some of the public data available on WeChat may include but is certainly not limited to:

  • Names
  • User aliases
  • Phone numbers
  • Passwords
  • Genders
  • IP addresses
  • Detailed location data
  • Emergency contacts
  • Managed devices
  • Email addresses

WeChat Scraping and Proxies

WeChat Scraping and Proxies

Since WeChat is an enormous treasure trove of public information, the simplest way to aggregate this data is by web scraping.

Web scraping WeChat data

What is web scraping? A web scraper is an automated data aggregation tool that programmatically gathers data from websites and social media profiles. Web scrapers scan a webpage for information related to the keyword, phrase, or URL entered. When it has collected all of the applicable data, the web scraper extracts the information into a document, where it is organized, making it easy to analyze. Since there is no readily available WeChat scraping API, you will need to use an existing web scraping tool.

Remember, it is essential to perform any kind of web scraping activity ethically. The ability to collect such massive amounts of data gives the person behind the web scraper a lot of power, particularly when scraping websites that contain a lot of personal information. Without ethical standards, it is difficult to tell the difference between those who use web scraping to foster innovation and knowledge versus those with nefarious intentions, such as plagiarism or profit at the expense of others.

Use the following ethical web scraping practices to ensure you do no harm.

  • Scrape when your target website has the least amount of traffic.
  • Respect the target website’s rules about scraping. Check the site’s privacy policy, Terms of Service (ToS), and robots.txt file, and abide by the website owner’s wishes.
  • Respect copyrighted material and give credit where credit is due by sourcing your information.

Scraping Robot

A ready-made web scraper like Scraping Robot allows you to run a large number of scrapes at a low flat rate per scrape, unlike some other companies with complicated pricing tiers and subscription fees. Customers frequently enjoy new functions thanks to Scraping Robot taking their suggestions into consideration when updating. With Scraping Robot, you can access a reliable support system, 24/7 customer assistance, and regularly updated tools with solutions to new anti-scraping technologies.

Web scraping using Rayobyte proxies

Although web scraping is a perfectly legitimate business practice, some website operators do not allow this kind of data extraction for fear that scraping activity could overwhelm and potentially crash their servers. As a result, some sites block web scraping based on the web scraper’s IP address or geolocation. We recommend using Rayobyte’s proxies with your web scraper of choice to overcome such obstacles.

A proxy server is an intermediary server that acts as a gateway between the web scraper and its target websites. A proxy server offers private IP authentication and anonymity, which allows you to avoid anti-scraping blocks. A proxy is essential to keep your web scraper protected and anonymous and to perform high-volume scraping without being detected and blocked.

WeChat is unavailable in some countries, which can pose issues for users who travel outside their home country only to find they cannot use the app. So how does one get WeChat in the USA or other countries? Proxy servers can allow users in other countries to use WeChat even if the app is unavailable based on geolocation. By using a proxy, you can change your app store location to a country where the app is available for download.

There are several types of proxy servers you can use to perform web scraping queries or access WeChat in countries where it is not available.

Data center proxies

Data center proxies are so named because they are stored in data centers. These cost-effective proxies are readily available, plentiful, and fast, making them suitable for use cases requiring fast speeds.

The main issue with using data center proxies is that their data center IP addresses make them more easily identifiable as originating in a data center, which is a red flag for some websites. Most human users do not access the internet with data center IPs, so some websites consider these a sign of “bot” activity and ban all data center proxies. WeChat, in particular, is known to ban data center proxies and any kind of public proxy.

Residential proxies

Residential proxies boast the most trustworthiness of all the proxies. They are sourced from informed individuals and are actual residential IP addresses associated with internet service providers (ISPs). This gives the traffic created by your web scraper a more human appearance. Because most websites do not block human visitors without reason, they generally do not block traffic from residential proxies.

By web scraping through Rayobyte’s residential proxies with geo-targeting functionality, you can make your web scraper appear to be located anywhere in the world, allowing you to collect data from websites that may display different information based on the visitor’s geolocation. Rayobyte’s residential proxies give you access to a large IP pool of high-quality proxies to help you perform web scraping virtually undetected.

Ethical residential proxy sourcing is of the utmost importance to Rayobyte. Ethical proxy providers must take precautions to ensure the end users who own the IP address are not negatively affected by lending them. Our end users are fully informed and compensated for the use of their IP addresses, and they can revoke their approval at any time. Their IP addresses are only used when they are not actively using them, and their devices are plugged in or adequately charged.

We also ensure any potential buyers of our residential proxies meet our standards for the legitimate, ethical use of the proxies. We also continue to monitor the use of our residential proxies for any signs of unethical use after selling them.

ISP proxies

Also called static residential proxies, ISP proxies combine the speed of data center proxies with the trustworthiness of residential proxies. ISP proxies are hosted on data center servers, but they use IP addresses that appear to belong to human individuals. Rayobyte’s premium ISP proxies allow you to access stable, fast connections that are as hard for websites to detect as residential IP addresses.


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WeChat is an app with a massive user base. Its various functions make the app irresistible, and its sheer number of users makes it irresistible to businesses who want the attention of those users. Accessing WeChat using proxies allows you to use the app to its maximum potential, whether for personal or business purposes. Contact Rayobyte to start WeChat scraping today!

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.

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