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ICP license - The basics

ICP license - The basics

China is at the moment the second biggest economy in the world. Moreover, this country is more and more open for the foreign companies and it is clear that the Western market is not increasing as much as the Chinese market.

Indeed, all the specialists around the world will tell you that China has still a huge potential that is why all the entrepreneurs and people willing to do business abroad targeted/are targeting/will target this market.

There are different ways to approach it and one of them is to develop the web presence in mainland China. But to do so you will need the ICP license and that the purpose of this article. Indeed, we will try to answer most of your unanswered questions.

What is a ICP license?

ICP is the abbreviation of Internet Content Provider or also called ICP Bei An. It is a permit that we enable your China-based website(s) to operate in China. This permit is issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

There are two kinds of ICP license:

  • ICP license for commercial websites (operational): this license allows your prospects to do some online shopping.
  • ICP license for non-commercial websites (informational): this license does not include direct sales.

Why do we need an ICP license?

As it was already said in the introduction, if we want to establish a China-based website to do business or to do e-commerce in China. There are different reasons that make us need this ICP license such as:

  • To get a hosting in China and then get a fast-loading website
  • To get the China CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Is it essential to have an ICP license?

The answer for this question cannot be black or white. Everything will depend on your purpose. On one hand, if you are tangentially targeting the Chinese market then you will not need one. On the other hand, if you are really interested by this market and you want to develop your there, then you will need this license.

You have to be aware that if you do not get this ICP license beforehand there is always a slightest chance that you will not get blocked but if you get blocked there will be no possible way to unblock you.

Who can get an ICP license?

Technically not everyone can have the ICP license. It will also depend on what kind of website you need to register. But basically a Chinese citizen and a Chinese company will get much more chance to be approved than a foreigner one.

What are the different steps to get an ICP license?

First of all, you have to know that every province in China has its own regulations. It will not change totally but will variate and some provinces will suit you more or less than another one. There are the steps:

  1. You have to register a domain in China and buy hosting.
  2. You have to get your Bei An service number.
  3. You have to register for the Aliyun ICP Management System.
  4. You have to log in to the Aliyun ICP Management System and fill out the registration form.
  5. You have to submit your documents for Aliyun’s approval.
  6. You have to get your photo taken.
  7. You have to wait for MIIT to approve.
  8. You succeeded!!!!!

How long does it take to get the ICP license?

Whatever you decide to do it by your own or with an agency, it will take time. In the first case between three and six weeks and in the second one it could be even longer.

How much does it cost to get the ICP license?

The price will not be the same for every agency. But one thing sure is that the agency that will do this service for you will charge only one domain. If you want them to do other domains, they will charge them to you as well.

What will be your next step?

If you need to host your website in China, register a license ICP, or even create a website/application do not hesitate to contact us.

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Built on a philosophy of talented people and great results, QPSoftware LTD is a results-driven, full-service digital agency in Shanghai specializing in website design, WeChat/Mobile app development and digital marketing.

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