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Alibaba Cloud Expert Online: How to obtain ICP filing or license in China?

More Posted time:Apr 7, 2017 14:50 PM
Following are questions and answers from "Alibaba ICP expert online" Campaign.

Q: As an applicant, I often encounter problems due to complicated processes, language barriers, and strict requirements on supporting materials.
Where can I go for consultation to complete the ICP filing? Thanks!
A: In order to ensure a hassle-free experience to completing the ICP filing, Alibaba Cloud has launched the ICP Filing Consulting Service. This service provides consultation on ICP rules, ICP processes, document preparation, and ICP submission, to help Alibaba Cloud customers complete the ICP filing seamlessly. Please refer to this link:

Q: Can a WFOE corporation get an ICP Filing in China? In FTZ or outside FTZ?
A: Since June of 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises (WFOEs) can enter the Chinese e-commerce sector with a Commercial ICP License.  A regular ICP Filing can be used by the WOFE for all other company web applications.
A WFOE registered in Main Land China can do an ICP filing whether it’s registered in the Free Trade Zone or not.  Please note that all ICP licenses and filings are subject to approval by the MIIT. Here are the details for applying for an ICP License/Filing.

Q: Do I need an ICP Filing to deploy a mobile application in China?
A: ICP Filing is for websites. Mobile applications usually do not need to apply for ICP Filings.  If your application relates to a domain name (such as downloading from a website or e-commerce) it will be necessary to apply for an ICP License for this website.  If you still have questions or concerns, please post more details in this post or contacts us directly through your Alibaba Cloud account.

Q:  I have three websites in China. May I apply for all three websites at the same time? How to do this?
A: Yes. You can apply for the ICP Filings for multiple websites simultaneously if they are on the same server. You need to fill in the Filing information of your three websites together when you submit the ordering.  If the web sites are on separate servers each Filing should be done separately.

Q: I want to apply for the ICP Filing, but my website has not been finished. May I apply the filing now or I have to wait for my website finished?
A: We do not require the website to be complete to apply for the ICP Filing.   However, we do require the domain. To minimize approval time, it’s best to have DNS configured for the required domain before the Filing.

Q: My web site is ready, with the server located in the US. Our clients are in China and Canada.
But our site is slow to China, If I change to a China server, do you think, Canadian user will face slow issue?
A: If you have a Chinese presence like a WFOE in China (which allows you to do an ICP Filing) you should consider moving the server to China or using our CDN to deliver content to China. If you have the server in China you will probably need a CDN to deliver content back to Canada.  An alternative solution (where no ICP Filing/License is required) is to host your site from our HK region. This will give you usable speeds for both users in Canada and China.

Q: I have used an account to buy a server. Can use another account to apply ICP license?
A: If you are talking about applying from a different Alibaba Cloud Console Account it is irrelevant.  The ICP filing is done through the ICP Filing Systems Platform which is a separate system. This can be linked to the same mailbox as the console or a different one.

Q: I want to have a fast web server for people visiting my personal website and got confused about registering ICP using Alibaba Cloud. I clicked on the free trial for ECS and couldn't get the ICP application #. It seems I need to pay for the number, but I may only need a CDN or DNS server in China. Is there any way to get the ICP for free in my case? Thanks!
A: Alibaba Cloud will only do the ICP Filing for CDN if we host the paid ECS subscription (min 1-year) web site. The ICP Filing for the web site is valid for the CDN.  Currently we do not have DNS services available unless you purchase your domain name through our Cloud Web Hosting package.  Please note you will require an Chinese entity (WFOE) to apply for the ICP Filing.

Q: I am using an AWS server to link to our CDN with Alibaba Cloud.  When our mobile game requires patching do I need to apply for ICP Filing? If yes, how does a foreign company with no Chinese office in China apply for it?
A: Do you require a domain name link for the Alibaba Cloud Server CDN to download? If yes, you will need to apply for the ICP Filing. Foreign companies need to apply for Foreign (regional) enterprises resident representative registration certificate before filing. There are no alternatives. Please refer to this link:

Q: At which points during the ICP application process is it necessary for a Chinese National to be present?
A: There is no need for on-site filing, all steps can be completed online, so it is not necessary for a Chinese National to be present.

Q: How to apply for an ICP license to a Pay-As-You-Go ECS instance?
A: To apply for ICP from Alibaba Cloud, you need to purchase a subscription ECS (min 1 year), Pay-As-You-Go instances are not supported.

Q: Hi, I only want to speed up video content delivery from my website into China. Thus my only requirement is to reach into an agreement with a CDN services provider with endpoints within China. My understanding is I only need an ICP Filling, is that correct? How does the Filling differ from the license? On the other hand, if I want to web-accelerate (CDN) my site while the infrastructure remains abroad China; do I still need the ICP license?
A: Here are the answers for the two CDN scenarios:
1. If you only use a CDN in China mainland, you must do the ICP Filing directly with MIIT China.  We cannot do this unless the servers (ECS) is hosted with us directly even if we host the CDN portion.
2. If CDN is not with a mainland China provider you do not require an ICP Filing.

Q: What is filing service number and why do I need it ?
I am a pay as you go type of customer and I am trying to understand why I am not able to use the filling service with my instance.
A: ICP does not support the ECS with pay as you go type, you must own a ECS in public IP with subscription type, more about please see:

Q: Could you describe in details, how much it costs to get ICP License for commercial business? I tried to contact support, but I couldn't leave a message, because the verification slider doesn't work (I couldn't move it).
A: If you want to apply for the ICP Filing for a website, the ICP Filing on our products is free if you meet all the requirement (WFOE setup. ECS Subscription (1-year min), etc.). There however might be a 15RMB cost for picture filing in certain circumstances.

Q: If I would like to have Alibaba Cloud as my ICP representative, Alibaba Cloud will submit my ICP application to the government ( on my behalf, right? We have a website, which we want to use as an Internet shop. So we need ICP and hosting in mainland China. We wanted to use your services.
Walter, you suggest some extra fees might appear during the process?
Where can we get acquainted with all the requirements and forms that we must fill in?
A: Alibaba Cloud will do your ICP Filing if we host the ECS instance (min of 1-year subscription).
Please refer to the application process:

Q: We operate a web site out from Europe. Its content is offered in several languages, among them is a Chinese language version. Do I have to apply for an ICP license?
A: An ICP license would only be required if you use a mainland China server to host your site or you require CDN services within mainland China. If none of these criteria are true you do not require an ICP license.

Q: I have a very general and shallow understanding of servers, I am currently in the process of finishing an e-commerce website aimed at the Chinese Mainland market. I am interested in hosting in Hong Kong since we are a small startup and cannot afford the substantial capital requirements to have a WFOE within China (that is a prerequisite for the ICP Filing).
I figured that I would need a Cloud server in Hong Kong (2 Core CPU, 8GB Memory, 60GB Ultra Cloud Disk, 4TB Data Transfer). What I am unsure of is, if the server is managed, meaning that it is taken care of by professionals, or is that something left out to me as an individual?
For instance, would I receive assistance in migration from my current hosting/domain provider to the Alibaba Cloud?
A: If you purchase the server, it will be hosted in the Alibaba Cloud, with which specific operations need to be completed and managed by yourself. If you require any more special help in the server migration, please contact sales and they will pass you to an Alibaba Cloud partner for help.

If there are more questions, please leave them in the comments.
This post will continue to be updated.
Thank you!
[Cloudy edited the post at Nov 30, 2020 13:22 PM]