Do I need to register for an ICP Filing?

I want to deploy:

a website
For example: A website hosted on Alibaba Cloud ECS or Web Hosting
a website on CDN/OSS/Other
For example: A website hosted on Object Storage Service, WAF, Anti-DDoS and other products.
a mobile app
A non-web browser mobile app
Do you have a special project that is not listed? Please contact our ICP service team for more information.

Do you have a registered company in Mainland China?

Yes, I do

You can deploy in Mainland China upon successfully obtaining an ICP Filing. Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise, Representative Office and Joint Venture entities are all eligible.

No, I do not

Overseas companies cannot deploy websites in Mainland China. To deploy a website, they must set up a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WOFE), Representative Office (RO) or Joint Venture (JV) inside Mainland China. Individual applicants will need to provide their China address and contact information, as well as a valid ID.

You must have a registered company in Mainland China

You can deploy in Mainland China upon completing an ICP Filing. Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise, Representative Office and Joint Venture entities are all eligible.

Is your server in Mainland China?

Yes

You can deploy in Mainland China upon completing an ICP Filing. Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise, Representative Office and Joint Venture entities are all eligible.

No

In most cases, you do not need apply for an ICP Filing. For specific requirements, please consult our ICP service team (need to log in to account).

What is ICP?

An ICP (Internet Content Provider) Filing certifies a website domain to be hosted on a server or CDN located in Mainland China.

Is ICP mandatory?

All websites hosted in Mainland China, including CDN-hosted websites, are required by law to obtain ICP registration.

What are the requirements?

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. Specific requirements apply according to each province.

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). Upon successfully obtaining an ICP Filing from MIIT, your site will be eligible to be accessed in Mainland China. The licensed website can only be used for informational purposes and not for generating direct revenue. An ICP Filing takes approximately 20 standard working days to process.

See more details

ICP Commercial License

Enterprise websites that are established for the purpose of generating income through publishing information, advertising, setting up e-mail accounts, conducting business activities, and providing a platform for others to perform such activities through a website and linked domain name structure hosted in Mainland China are required to apply for an ICP Commercial License. It should be noted that, before applying for an ICP license, you must first obtain a valid ICP Filing number.

See more details

ICP Filing 6-step Process

Register an account
Register an Alibaba Cloud account or log on to your existing account and navigate to the ICP Application Portal (in Chinese).
Submit company information
Submit your application materials. To review the regulations for each province in China please click here.
Alibaba Cloud verification
Alibaba Cloud will review you application within one day and confirm if all documents have been successfully submitted via SMS (Chinese phone number only) and email.
Provide photo verification
After the first round of approval, you will need to log on to the ICP Application Portal (in Chinese) to apply for a photo backdrop to take your official photo. Alternatively, you can take the photo through the Alibaba Cloud mobile app (limited to certain provinces/cities).
MIIT verification
Alibaba Cloud submits your application to the provincial branch of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The outcome of the official review will be sent by SMS (Chinese phone number only) and email.
Success!
Application successful! The last step is to apply for a PSB Filing within 30 days. Your application must be submitted in Chinese characters.
What is a PSB (Public Security Bureau) ICP Filing?

Common 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
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.
8. What if I have more questions?
Please refer to our ICP FAQs in the Document Center.

Resources

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