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Why do I need an ICP license?

According to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), all websites hosted in Mainland China are required by law to obtain an ICP license. Applying for an ICP license is therefore a legal requirement if you wish to deploy a website in Mainland China powered on Alibaba Cloud products.

What will happen if I don’t have an ICP?

What license do I need to host a website in Mainland China?

ICP Filing

An ICP Filing, known in Chinese as 'Bei'An' and also referred to as an 'ICP recordal' by some sources, is the first level of ICP certification. All applicants must apply for an ICP Filing regardless of whether their website is commercial or non-commercial in scope. After obtaining an ICP Filing, the licensee will be eligible to host their website on a China-based hosting server or CDN, but will not be able to integrate e-commerce features or online payments. As an ICP Filing does not permit the licensee to engage in direct online sales, the licensed website should only be used for informational purposes. An ICP Filing can take up to several months to process but Alibaba Cloud offers processing within 20 working days.

ICP Commercial License

An ICP Commercial License, known as ‘ICP Zheng’ in Chinese allows online platforms or third-party sellers of goods and services to deploy their website on a hosting server or CDN within Mainland China. To apply for an ICP Commercial License, you must first obtain an ICP Filing. After obtaining both an ICP Filing and ICP Commercial License the licensee is eligible to launch a website with e-commerce and online payment integration on a server or CDN based in Mainland China. An ICP Commercial License takes approximately 60 working days to process and Alibaba Cloud provides this service to customers.

Application Materials

After the appropriate application materials have been collected, Alibaba Cloud will submit your ICP application to the government on your behalf. Alibaba Cloud will submit your application to the local branch of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in the province or municipality where your business is registered. See full details regarding the ICP license application process and eligibility.

Note: As of 2016, final approval from the Public Security Bureau (PSB) is required for all ICP license applications. Applicants must submit a PSB ICP Filing application after their ICP Filing or ICP Commercial License is approved by MIIT and within 30 days of their website going live.

Test if you need an ICP license

Will you host your website in Mainland China or outside of Mainland China (ie. Hong Kong or Singapore)?

Host in Hong Kong //

For small and medium sized enterprises that have a website with modest levels of user traffic, hosting in Hong Kong provides an attractive alternative to hosting in Mainland China.

Host in Mainland China //

China-hosted websites connect faster and are the most reliable option for servicing the China market.

No need to apply for a license

If you are a small or medium-sized company with a basic website that is only tangentially interested in reaching Chinese customers, then you can look at hosting in Hong Kong.

Check out the Hong Kong plan

Beyond delivering online content via a local Chinese ICP address, will your website also be generating revenue?

There are different ICP requirements for websites that generate revenue and publish news.

Next step

Are you a registered business in Mainland China?

What material do I need to apply for ICP Filing?

If you are resourced to submit the application in Chinese, you can proceed to apply for a non-commercial ICP license online.

Apply for ICP Filing

If you have already received an ICP Filing, you can apply for a PSB Filing online.

Apply for PSB Filing

Given the PSB Filing is a Chinese government body, the PSB Filing system is available only in Chinese.Click to learn more about the PSB Filing

If you have any difficulties in acquiring an ICP license, please contact the Alibaba Cloud support team and we will help you as soon as possible.

Contact our team

Need to apply for both an ICP Filing and ICP License.

Contact Alibaba Cloud support team for more details.

Contact our team

Online Application Process for ICP Filing

Please contact us us if you cannot read Chinese characters or need assistance with the application process.

Login to ICP Application Portal

You need to register and login:
Click here to Register
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What's the process? Process Guide

Submit Company Information

For an enterprise application please prepare in advance your enterprise license materials.
To see the regulations for each province please click here.

Alibaba Cloud Verification

The Alibaba Cloud review takes one day to process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by SMS message (Chinese Phone Number) and email.

Photo Backdrop

You can apply to receive by post the Alibaba Cloud photo backdrop to a location in China in order to submit a photo for your application. Contact us to receive the photo backdrop.

MIIT Verification

Alibaba Cloud submits application to the provincial MIIT branch. The outcome of the official review will be sent by SMS (Chinese phone number) and email.


Once your application has been processed, the next step is to apply for a PSB ICP Filing within 30 days. As the PSB Filing System is hosted on an official government website, your application will need to be submitted in Chinese.
What is a PSB (Public Security Bureau) ICP Filing?

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