WeChat accounts are readily available for sale via several online channels, with black market accounts being used to defraud unsuspecting victims.

According to an investigation by the Beijing Youth Daily, the accounts on offer vary regarding their authentication levels, from newly registered profiles to old accounts which have undergone real-name verification, and those that have been bound to payment tools. Prices range between RMB 58 (around $8.50) to RMB 500.

Typically, when signing up for a WeChat account, a username, phone number, and password are required. Real-name verification is achieved in the registration process by binding a user’s phone number—which is linked to their ID—to their WeChat account. Accounts are also verified by registering a bank card within the app.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.