For enterprises registered outside of mainland China

Last Updated: Apr 04, 2018

Can I apply for an ICP Filing and ICP Commercial License if I have a physical office in mainland China?

Having a physical office (“ban shi chu” in Chinese), you may apply for ICP Filing from some provincial communications administrations, but you cannot register for an ICP Commercial License. You must be a registered commercial business in China.

Documents issued outside of mainland China are not accepted for ICP Filing. If you have a registered branch company in mainland China, you can use its registration documents for ICP Filing. If you do not have a registered company, you must apply for a Registration Certificate of Foreign Enterprises Permanent Office in China from the relevant authority and use this as a business license to submit an ICP Filing application.

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What happens if I do not have an ICP Filing?

You cannot open your website for visit if you have no ICP Filing.

In principle, all websites hosted on mainland China are subject to random inspection by MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology).

A fine of 10,000 RMB is imposed on websites found to be operating without an ICP Filing. Those who refuse to correct the problem have their website shut down.

I plan to use Server Load Balancer. How do I apply for an ICP Filing?

If you plan to use Server Load Balancer together with ECS in mainland China, you can complete the ICP Filing using one of the ECS instances that is in the Server Load Balancer’s pool. Once your ICP Filing has been approved, you change your DNS record to point to the IP of your Server Load Balancer instance.

If you are an ICP Commercial License holder, you must update your ICP Commercial License information when changing the IP address to your Server Load Balancer instance.

Do I have to apply for an ICP Filing to use Alibaba Cloud’s CDN service?

If you only plan to use Alibaba Cloud international CDN services (which do not cover mainland China) then you are not required to apply for an ICP Filing.

If you plan to use the mainland China CDN services, then you must apply for an ICP Filing. You need a temporary ECS instance (with a subscription of at least three months) in mainland China to complete the process, whether or not your site is hosted in mainland China.

Do I need an ICP Filing if my website is hosted outside mainland China?

You do not need an ICP Filing if your website is hosted outside mainland China. However, you must complete the ICP Filing process if you plan to use the Alibaba Cloud CDN service to accelerate content for users in mainland China.

My site is hosted in mainland China but is accessible only by IP address. Do I need an ICP Filing?

Yes. If your website is accessed only by IP address, you cannot apply for an ICP Filing through Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing system. For this instance, you must submit a website ICP Filing application at the province where your commercial entity locates.

Which Chinese province can I file in?

If you are applying for an ICP Filing as a business, you must apply for the ICP Filing in the same province where your Chinese business license was issued. For example, if your business is registered in Liaoning province, you must apply for an ICP Filing in Liaoning province.

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