ICP Registration Support
Learn how to obtain an ICP Filing or ICP Commercial License to host your website in Mainland China.
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?
If you are not eligible for an ICP License, you have the option of hosting your website on a server or CDN in Hong Kong. Contact Us to learn more.
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 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.
- Application successful! The last step is to apply for a PSB Filing within 30 days. Your application must be submitted in Chinese characters.
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.
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