Why should businesses care about ICP?
An ICP (Internet Content Provider) Filing certifies a website domain (for a website or an app) to be hosted lawfully on a server or CDN located in the Chinese mainland.
Is it mandatory?
Based on the Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services, all websites and applications that want to provide services in the Chinese mainland must obtain an ICP filing before they can be legally operated, including the release of websites and the release of applications to application markets in the Chinese mainland.
Enterprises must have a registered business entity in the Chinese mainland. 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 websites or applications on servers or CDN nodes in the Chinese mainland, both individuals and enterprises must apply for an ICP filing. After you obtain an ICP filing from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), your website can be accessed in the Chinese mainland. Only enterprises can apply for an ICP filing for applications.Read into Details
* An ICP filing is applicable to a website or application that provides non-commercial Internet-based information services.
* An ICP filing is not applicable to a website or application that aims to generate profits.
- 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.
All-in-One Service for ICP Filing
Delivery Progress Follow-Up
Efficient Completion of Paperwork
Domain Name Consultation
Registration and Ownership Transfer
Qualification Document Compliance
Filing Application Assistance
Support from Experts
Reduced Learning Costs
Improved Success Rate
Self-Service ICP Filing 9-Step Process
You can follow these steps to obtain an ICP filing or contact us to get our GoChina ICP Filing Assistant service.
- Register an Alibaba Cloud account, prepare and check your domain name, purchase an ECS instance, build your website or app, and learn the MIIT ICP regulations. Before you apply for an ICP filing, make sure that you can read, write, and understand Chinese. For more information, see Documentation.
- Enter the required information
- In the Alibaba Cloud ICP Filing system (available in Chinese only), enter the information such as your organization, website, and app as prompted. The system automatically determines the ICP filing type based on the information that you enter.
- Verify the Alibaba Cloud instance
- Verify the ECS instance that hosts your website or app. You can find an ECS instance that is suitable for your business by using Alibaba Cloud Web Hosting Solution.
- Enter information about the entity and your website or app
- Enter the information about your website or app and authentic information about the entity that applies for an ICP filing. The 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, carefully check the ICP filing information, such as the entity, website, app, and access information. Make sure that the information is correct.
- 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.
Security and Compliance
SOC2 Type II Report
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 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. Please read Domain name information verification document for more information.
You can also purchase our GoChina ICP Filing Assistant service and let our experts help you with your ICP filing. This service includes company registration in Mainland China, a full consultation service for domain name registration and transfer, and other application and filing services.
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 the Chinese mainland?
- 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?
- The preceding measures specify that you must obtain ICP filings for websites whose domain names are resolved to servers that are located in mainland China, and apps hosted on servers that are located in mainland China. If you do not obtain ICP filings for the websites and apps, they are not allowed to provide services, access to these websites and apps will be blocked, and the apps may be removed from app markets.
Assume that you do not complete ICP filing in Alibaba Cloud but resolve your domain name to an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance that is located in mainland China. In this case, the Alibaba Cloud monitoring system identifies and blocks the access requests to the instance, and you are notified to obtain an ICP filing.
If an ICP filing is obtained from another service provider and you want to resolve your website domain name to an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance that is located in mainland China, you must transfer your ICP filing to Alibaba Cloud. Otherwise, the Alibaba Cloud monitoring system identifies and blocks the access requests to the instance, and you are notified to transfer the ICP filing to Alibaba Cloud.
If you plan to list your app on the mainland China app markets, GoChina ICP Filing Assistant will also help you apply for the listing after you have completed the ICP filing.
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.
ChinaGateway: How to Apply for an ICP License to Host Your Website in China
In this course, you will gain a clear understanding of the ICP registration process, including the categories of ICP registration, eligibility, as well as a general overview about business incorporation in the Chinese mainland.
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