Why should businesses care about ICP?
An ICP (Internet Content Provider) Filing certifies a website domain to be hosted lawfully on a server or CDN located in Mainland China.
Is it mandatory?
According to the Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services, all websites and mobile apps hoping to provide services in Mainland China, must first obtain ICP registration in order to operate lawfully.
Enterprises must have a registered business entity in Mainland China. Foreign individuals that have a fixed residence in China may apply for a personal website.
What if I'm not eligible?
ICP Registration Categories
- ICP Filing
To deploy a website in Mainland China on a server or CDN nodes, both individual and enterprise applicants must apply for an ICP Filing ('Bei'an' in Chinese). By obtaining an ICP Filing from MIIT, your sites will be eligible to be accessed in Mainland China:Read into Details
* For non-commercial internet information services;
* Can only be used for informational purposes and not for generating revenue.
- ICP Commercial License
Enterprise websites that are established for the purpose of generating income or providing a platform for others to generate income, are required to apply for an ICP Commercial License:Read into Details
* For commercial internet information services;
* Generate revenue through, for example, publishing information, advertising, etc., or providing a platform for others to generate income, all should apply for an ICP Commercial License.
ICP Filing 9-Step Process
- Register an Alibaba Cloud account, prepare and check your domain name, purchase an instance and build a website, read and understand the MIIT ICP regulations. Make sure that you can read, write, and understand Chinese when you apply for an ICP filing. For details see Document Center.
- Enter the required information
- In the Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing system, enter your organization, website, and more information by following instructions. The system automatically determines the ICP filing type.
- Verify the Alibaba Cloud instance
- Verify the instance that hosts your website. You can find an instance suitable for your businesses at Alibaba Cloud Web Hosting Solution.
- Enter the entity and website information
- Enter the website information and authentic information about your entity. Your entity can be an organization or an individual.
- Upload certificate documents
- Upload photos or color scanned copies of your documents according to regulated requirements.
- Confirm your information
- Before you submit the ICP filing application, confirm the ICP filing information carefully, including your entity, website, and service provider information. Make sure all information is correct before submission to application.
- Alibaba Cloud reviews your ICP application
- After you submit the ICP filing application, Alibaba Cloud reviews your ICP filing application.
- MIIT reviews your ICP application
- After Alibaba Cloud reviewed your ICP filing application, the application information will be delivered to MIIT for final review. If you successfully pass the final review, MIIT will register your ICP filing information. You can receive the final review result through SMS and emails.
- Your application is approved. The last step is to log on to China Cyber Security Management Platform (available in Chinese only) and register a PSB filing within 30 days after you obtain an ICP filing.
ICP Filing Consulting Service
Alibaba Cloud experts help you complete the ICP filing seamlessly, assisting you throughout the ICP filing process including consultation on ICP rules, ICP processes, document preparation, and ICP submission. Learn More >
Alibaba Cloud provides an ICP filing system and ICP app as platforms to simplify the ICP application process for customers.
Alibaba Cloud provides diverse services, including ICP consulting and maintenance services.
We provide experts to assist you throughout the ICP filing process including process consultation, document preparation, and application submission.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I apply for an ICP Filing before my website goes live?
- Your website does not need to go live in order to apply for an ICP Filing. However, you will need to purchase a hosting server and domain before submitting the application. The domain name will also need to undergo real-name verification prior to the ICP application. Read Domain name information verification Domain name information verification
2. Is there a point in the application process where I need to be physically present?
- There is no need for any on-site filing. All steps can be completed online.
3. Can I apply for an ICP Commercial License if I have a physical office in Mainland China?
- Unfortunately, having a physical office (办事处 or “ban shi chu” in Chinese) is not enough to register for an ICP Commercial License. You must be a registered commercial business in China. In the case of a Sino-foreign joint venture, the proportion of foreign investment in the venture shall not exceed 50%, you may still apply for an ICP Filing, but will not be able to run your website as a commercial site, and therefore will not be able to accept money through your site. Further, foreign companies need to apply for a “foreign (regional) enterprises resident representative registration certificate” (外国（地区）企业常驻机构代表登记证 in Chinese) before filing.
4. Do I need to apply for an ICP Filing to use Alibaba Cloud’s CDN service?
- If you only plan to use our international CDN services (which do not cover Mainland China) then there is no need to apply for an ICP Filing. If you plan to use our domestic (Mainland China) CDN services, then you must apply for an ICP Filing. You will need to temporarily purchase an ECS instance in Mainland China to complete the process, whether or not your site is hosted in Mainland China.
5. What will happen if I do not have an ICP Filing?
- Websites that do not file for an ICP record cannot be accessed in Mainland China.
6. How many ICP Filing applications can I submit from one account?
- The ICP Filing system follows a “one account, one owner” rule. This means that if you own multiple websites, you can file for all of them from a single account, so long as you are the owner listed for all the domain names you plan to register for. If you are applying for ICP Filings for sites with different owners, you’ll need one account per unique owner.
7. I already have an ICP Filing, and I want to change my hosting provider to Alibaba Cloud. What do I do?
- You can log on to our ICP Management System and apply to transfer your ICP Filing to Alibaba Cloud. As this system is only available in Chinese, you may need to seek assistance from a Chinese speaker. For reference, this process is referred to as “接入备案” (jie ru bei an) in Chinese.
ICP Registration: Smoothing the Hurdles of Chinese Web Hosting
China Cybersecurity Law Raises the Bar
How to Get a Dominant Physical Presence and Infrastructured
How to Register for an ICP Number
Navigating Through China's Cybersecurity Legislation