The United Nations’s attempts to get its WeChat official account verified were repeatedly rejected by Tencent. And no, this is not an April Fool’s joke. On Friday, a post on the UN’s WeChat account aired its grievances and insisted that it WAS the official account of the UN.
The post said it kept getting questions from subscribers like “are you THE United Nations? How come there is no tick on your account to prove it?”
Then, the uptight United Nations wrote in a rather funny tone to explain its arduous fight for authentication from Tencent, which runs the two largest social network apps in China, Wechat and QQ.
Back in 2013 when the organization opened its official account, the process to get verified was quite simple. Later, WeChat introduced its annual auditing policy. To pass the annual audit, accounts are required to sumbit an Organization Code Certificate.
This certificate is an entity’s ID card, which is issued to companies and other entities in China. But the UN is headquartered in New York…
That’s why in February, the UN’s WeChat public account lost its verified status.
Later, Tencent’s customer service showed their understanding for overseas-based institutions by reaching out to the UN and asking for an official letter.
The thing is, the official letter didn’t work either! Here’s the conversation between the UN and Tencent’s customer service, translated by me:
Tencent: ”You need to put your official seal on that letter.”
UN: “The UN doesn’t have an official seal. How about a signature from the boss?”
Tencent: “Ummm, fair enough, but you still need material to prove that you’re the UN.”
UN: “How about a video of Ban Ki-moon?” (they filmed a video in which Ban Ki-moon says: “Chat with the UN on WeChat!”).
Tencent: No, it has to be written material.
A Chinese netizen came up with a solution to the UN’s conundrum: “The UN should impose sanctions on the founder of Tencent, Pony Ma, for not verifying their WeChat public account.”
But guess what? On Friday afternoon, the UN’s public WeChat account was successfully verified!
Pony Ma, were you worried about getting sanctioned?
(Top photo from Baidu Images)