Websites hosted on instances located in Mainland China require Internet Content Provider (ICP) filings, whereas websites hosted on instances located outside Mainland China require Public Security Bureau (PSB) filings. This topic answers the frequently asked questions about ICP filing applications in different scenarios.

Do I need to apply for an 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 by using this domain name, you must apply for an ICP filing. If your domain name is resolved to an instance located outside Mainland China such as Hong Kong (China), you do not need to apply for an ICP filing. Instead, you must apply for a PSB filing.

Are ICP filing applications free of charge?

Yes, it is free of charge to apply for an ICP filing. However, you must pay for the cloud server that you use.

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

For more information about the supported instance service types and requirements, see Supported instance service types and the maximum number of service identification numbers allowed. You can select an instance service type as needed and purchase an instance on the corresponding buy page.

Is an 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 an ICP filing only when the following conditions are met: You need to provide web services by using a domain name, and you want to resolve the domain name to your instance located in Mainland China.

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

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

  • If the ICP filing for your top-level domain name is not obtained by using the Alibaba Cloud Filing system, you must add Alibaba Cloud to the service provider list in the ICP filing information. You can add multiple service providers to the ICP filing information for a top-level domain name.
  • Your website cannot provide services until the top-level domain name of your domain name obtains an ICP filing. After the top-level domain name of your domain name obtains an ICP filing, the second-level domain names and subdomains become accessible.

Do I need to purchase an Alibaba Cloud instance before I apply for an 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. In this case, 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 applications. When you apply for an ICP filing, you must select the instance to complete product verification. For more information about the requirements for instances, see Prepare and check the instance and 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, the ICP filing entity can be an enterprise if the registrant is an individual under the following circumstances:
  • The registrant is the legal representative of the enterprise.

    In specific provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, if the domain name 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 for different regions, see ICP filing regulations of the MIIT in different regions.

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

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

Under what circumstances is the initial ICP filing required?

If you have never obtained an ICP filing for the entity or domain name of your website, you must obtain the initial ICP filing in the Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing system before you provide 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 filings 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 an ICP filing for a new website?

  • You have obtained an ICP filing 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 obtained through Alibaba Cloud.)
  • You have obtained an ICP filing 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 obtained through Alibaba Cloud.)

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

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