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ICP Guidelines

ICP guidelines

Streamline your entry in China

Getting an ICP license is essential if you want to do business online in China. Follow these ICP guidelines to prepare your application.

What is an ICP License?

Internet Content Provider (ICP) License is a standard license, required by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), for companies looking to establish a web presence in China. Companies will only be eligible for hosting a website in China or using what China-based hosting or CDN services if they have a valid ICP license. Obtaining an ICP license could be difficult, but BaishanCloud’s experts can guide you through the application process.


Types of ICP

ICP Filing (Bei’An 备案)

ICP Filing, also known as ICP Bei’An in Chinese, is required for non-commercial websites. A business must apply for an ICP Filing number in the same province where it registered its business license. Working with an in-country representative is the best way to ensure your application is on the right track and fully complete.


ICP Commercial License (Zheng 证)

ICP Commercial License is also known as ICP Zheng in Chinese. This type of license is required for commercial websites to engage in online retail activities. ICP Filing process is a prerequisite before applying for the ICP Commercial License.


What do I need for an ICP?

ICP Application Prerequisite

  • Establish a business entity in China
  • Register the domain with a Chinese registrar and obtain a Domain Registration Certificate
  • Purchase web hosting from a Chinese hosting company
  • The Chinese web hosting provider will manage the ICP application materials
  • BaishanCloud can provide recommendations on hosting providers if necessary


ICP Required Documents

  • Domain Registration Certificate
  • Business entity’s registered name (in Chinese)
  • Business license number
  • Photos of a legal representative
  • Photos of a China-based Web representative
  • Photocopies of legal representative’s ID, web representative’s ID


ICP guidelines: Four steps to ICP

ICP Step 1: Schedule a Consultation

A BaishanCloud ICP expert will answer any ICP questions you may have and help clarify common misconceptions.
If necessary, your specialist can help walk you through the prerequisites for an ICP application.

ICP Step 2: Prepare Application Materials

Prepare and gather the required documents.
Fill out the online ICP Filing Application Forms.

ICP Step 3: Submit to MIIT

BaishanCloud will refer you to the proper agency or entity in China for you to submit your materials.
You will receive updates throughout the process on the status of your application and if more verification is necessary.

ICP Step 4: You’re Online in China

The average processing time is about 3 to 4 weeks. Once your ICP application is approved, you will receive an ICP Number to be displayed on your website.
This number is stored in the MIIT central database and confirms your website’s validity.

ICP guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

What are the required documents of ICP license application?

  1. A copy of the Business License of your company’s Chinese legal entity
  2. An ID card copy of the administrator for your website (who must be a Chinese national)
  3. Photo ID or passport of the business owner (who can be a foreign national)
  4. Signed ICP application forms, including information on your official company name, registered address, contact person’s details, website information and any necessary documentation required in the application.
  5. Proof that you have the capital and expertise needed to develop your business activities
  6. Proof of credibility and capability to provide long-term service to customers
  7. A strong business development plan and the related technical solutions
  8. Proof of website and information on security measures used on your site (for example, information encryption, user information management policy, etc.)
  9. A full debrief of your company
  10. Recent financial reports audited by audit/accounting firms or a capital check report
  11. Information about your company’s policy, ownership, shareholder structure and information about the relevant shareholders
  12. Approval of the business and industry scope from related government authorities if the internet information service to be provided is in the news, publishing, education, medical or medical instruction industries

Is an ICP License mandatory?

Any company looking to host and maintain content within China, including on a CDN, is required to have an ICP License.

What are the requirements when applying for an ICP License?

The MIIT announced a new set of regulations regarding domain names in November of 2017, and has been more strictly enforcing ICP rules and regulations starting from January 1, 2018. Both new applications and existing ICP license holders are subject to the more stringent regulations.

Some of the basic requirements include having an entity within Mainland China and registering your domain in China.

For more information, it is recommended that you speak to a BaishanCloud ICP specialist about how you can obtain your ICP License.

How do I apply?

All ICP License applications must be submitted to a respective province’s MIIT branch office. BaishanCloud can help you navigate this difficult process, as each province has slightly different rules and regulations when it comes to processing ICP applications. Working with an in-country representative is the best way to ensure your application is complete. This prevents the frustration of having your application sent back time and time again.

What do I do after I have my ICP License?

Once you have obtained your ICP License, you will have an ICP number that you must display on your website. This number corresponds to what the MIIT has on file, and is your key to legally providing online content inside mainland China. If any illegal content is linked back to an existing ICP number, all sites that are connected to that ICP may be at risk for being blocked and blacklisted.


Find out more about this and related topics:

Read more blog posts and articles about ICP and the challenges of delivering content into China

Find out about BaishanCloud’s China CDN and CDN infrastructure.

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