ICP Registration Numbers are required for any e-Commerce website hosted in mainland China.

The Ugly Facts: Everyone knows that the Chinese government has numerous regulations concerning on-line businesses in China. One of those regulations requires all websites with their own domain name operating inside China obtain approval and an Internet Content Provider (ICP) Registration Number (also known as a Beian License) from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The only way to obtain and ICP Registration Number is to go through a cloud hosting agent that has an ICP License. Don’t get confused – there is a difference between an ICP License and an ICP (or Beian) registration number. The ICP License pertains to the cloud hosting entity. The ICP registration number pertains to the website owner. All websites hosted on a server in the Chinese mainland must, by law, apply for and receive an ICP Registration Number (Beian) before their site goes live – a rule enforced at the hosting level where the ICP License is needed. The ICP Registration Number must be listed on the website’s home page and the ICP Registration Certificate must be installed.

Please note: If your website does not have an ICP Registration Number – it will be taken down.

Again, to obtain an ICP (Internet Content Provider) Registration Number the application must be made through an ICP Licensed host such as CDS’ affiliate, Capital Online Technology. Only an ICP licensed cloud host can represent clients in obtaining an ICP Registration Number. date, the Chinese government has never issued an ICP License to any foreign cloud hosting company including Amazon, Microsoft or Google.

Choosing the correct agent is important. The application process is long and complicated – especially if you aren’t fluent in Chinese. Each province has slightly different regulations and the Internet laws in China change frequently. What was the rule today may not be the rule tomorrow, or even in the next province. CDS and Capital Online Technology will walk you through the steps free of charge and provide you with free cloud hosting during the process.

Beware: There are many 3rd party agents who offer to procure ICP Registration Numbers sometimes at exorbitant prices, some even charge a monthly fee to “maintain” the registration number. There is no monthly fee and there is no need to pay a 3rd party provider.

CDS will walk any customer hosting with CDS through the process and provide an agent free of charge.