Websites hosted on instances located in mainland China require Internet Content Provider (ICP) filing, while websites hosted on instances located outside mainland China do not. This topic answers the frequently asked questions about ICP filing in different scenarios.

Do I need to apply for ICP filing for my domain name?

If your domain name is resolved to an instance located in mainland China and you need to provide web services with this domain name, you must apply for ICP filing. If your domain name is resolved to an instance outside mainland China such as China (Hong Kong)outside mainland China, you do not need to apply for ICP filing.

Is ICP filing free of charge?

Yes, it is free of charge to apply for ICP filing. However, you must pay for the Alibaba Cloud instance that you use.

To apply for ICP filing, you must have a domain name and an instance located in mainland China. In addition, you need to apply for ICP filing through your service provider. To apply for ICP filing through Alibaba Cloud, you must first purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance located in mainland China. Then, log on to Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing System or use the Alibaba Cloud app to submit an ICP filing application.

For more information about the supported instance types and requirements, see Supported instances and maximum websites. You can select an instance as needed and purchase it on the corresponding purchase page.

Is ICP filing required if I purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance but do not associate it with a domain name?

No. You need to apply for ICP filing only when the domain name is resolved to an instance located in mainland China and you need to provide web services with this domain name.

Do I need to apply for ICP filing for a second-level domain name?

If you have applied for ICP filing for the top-level domain name through Alibaba Cloud, ICP filing is not required for second-level domain names.

  • If the ICP filing of your top-level domain is not obtained through Alibaba Cloud, you must add Alibaba Cloud as a service provider in the ICP filing information. You can add multiple service providers to the ICP filing information for a top-level domain.
  • Based on MIIT regulations, if the top-level domain does not have an ICP filing, the website cannot provide services. After the top-level domain of your domain name obtains an ICP filing, the second-level domains and sub-domains become accessible.

Do I need to purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance before I apply for ICP filing through Alibaba Cloud?

  • If your domain name is used for a Taobao shop or an enterprise website, select Taobao shop and enterprise website during product verification. You do not need to purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance.
  • If your domain name is not used for a Taobao shop or an enterprise website, you must purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance that is qualified for ICP filing. When applying for ICP filing, you must select the instance to complete the product verification. For more information about the requirements for instances, see Prepare and check the instance information (access information).

Can the ICP filing entity be an enterprise if the registrant is an individual?

The information about the registrant and the ICP filing entity must be consistent. However, when you apply for ICP filing of the organization type under the following circumstances, the ICP filing entity can be an enterprise even if the registrant is an individual.
  • The registrant is the legal representative of the enterprise.

    If the ICP filing registrant is the legal representative, the enterprise does not need to provide the certifications. The regulations vary among provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. For more information about the regulations of different provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, see ICP filing regulations of MIIT in different regions.

  • The registrant is one of the shareholders, principals, or senior managers of the enterprise.

    If the ICP filing registrant is one of the shareholders, principals, or senior managers, the enterprise must upload the certifications to Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing System. The regulations vary among provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. For more information about the regulations of different provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, see ICP filing regulations of MIIT in different regions.

Under what circumstances is the initial ICP filing required?

If you have never obtained an ICP number for the entity or domain name of your website, you must complete initial ICP filing in Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing System before providing web services.

Under what circumstances do I need to add Alibaba Cloud to the ICP filing information as a service provider?

You have obtained ICP numbers for the entity and domain name through another service provider and want to change the provider to Alibaba Cloud or add Alibaba Cloud as a new provider.

Under what circumstances do I need to apply for ICP filing for a new website?

  • You have obtained an ICP number for the entity through another service provider and want to host a new website of the entity on an Alibaba Cloud instance. (The original ICP filing is not applied through Alibaba Cloud.)
  • You have obtained an ICP number for the entity through Alibaba Cloud and want to host a new website of the entity on an Alibaba Cloud instance. (The original ICP filing is applied for through Alibaba Cloud.)

Under what circumstances do I need to modify the ICP filing information?

If you have obtained an ICP number through Alibaba Cloud and the ICP filing entity or website information changes, you must modify the entity information or website information in Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing System to keep information updated.