Ah, where do we start?
It must be more than one million times that I have talked about ICP licensing (ICP 备案) with our clients and non-clients, and I have no idea why this post has not come out earlier.
So, what is an ICP license anyway? What the hell is this damn thing that has made numerous foreign internet businesses cry? Do you really need to go through all the mess and pain to obtain one? Are you qualified? Will your websites be blocked in China if you don’t have one?
Let me clear all your doubts in this article.
What is an ICP license?
An ICP license (ICP 备案 in Chinese) is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to permit your websites to be hosted in China.
Without the license, no legitimate Chinese hosting companies will allow you to put your website on their servers.
A typical ICP license number looks like “京ICP备04000001号”, which is usually placed in the footer of a website and points to the official website of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Do you need an ICP license?
Registering an ICP license and hosting your site in China do grant you some advantages such as faster loading speeds for China-based users. However, that’s not the only way to boost your website’s performance in China.
Many of our clients don’t meet the requirements of ICP licenses and choose to host in Hong Kong based on our recommendation.
With our help, some of the websites just perform as well as or even better than sites hosted in China.
Are you qualified for an ICP license?
For now, only companies registered in Mainland China and Chinese citizens with a valid Chinese ID card are qualified for ICP licenses.
Will my website be blocked if I host my website outside China?
What about Baidu PPC?
The good news is Baidu still accepts websites hosted outside China Mainland without an ICP license.
- An ICP license permits you to host your website in China;
- You may not need an ICP license and can choose to host in Hong Kong;
- Only companies registered in China can apply for ICP licenses;
- Your website won’t be blocked in China if you don’t have an ICP license;
- Baidu PPC still accepts sites hosted outside China without an ICP license;
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