China is a highly-regulated country when it comes to Internal and Cloud operations:
- Key government organizations including Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, State Council, Cyberspace Administration of China, MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology), MPS (Ministry of Public Security) and MNS (Ministry of National Security) play as key stakeholders on specific ICT and cyber security regulations and laws.
- The National People's Congress and Standing Committee of the National People's Congress are the key organizations to approve China laws, such as China Anti-Terrorism Law and Cybersecurity Law. The State Council and its relevant department, e.g. MIIT, normally develop and approve regulations in ICT and emerging cloud service areas.
- MPS and MNS are the law enforcement agencies who focus to prevent and enforce laws against illegal actions, while MPS also publish their own regulations for enforcement. To comply the regulations, the experience of purchasing (such as registering a web site, sign up for a public account …etc.) might be different vs. the experience globally. this only provides a basic background, for updated and official laws and regulations, please refer to each China government organization’s office public announcements.
ICP (Internet Content Provider) License & Filling
For websites hosted in China, there are two types of registrations/permits required by Chinese regulation for ICPs ICP license and ICP filing issued by MIIT or its provincial branches. (Registration to get license.) This is a state-issued registration number that allows service providers to host website on a server locating in mainland China. The differences between ICP license and ICP filing are:
- ICP license is for commercial websites, which covers any website which may derive direct income from providing online advertising, texts, images, audio, video, apps, etc. or providing information search services, information community platform, instant message services, and information protection services. It shows as 京ICP证12345678号, “京" represents Beijing, add another example for a different province would be even more complete
- ICP filing is for non-commercial websites which is for Websites are purely informational and provides information free of charge. It shows as 京ICP备12345678号, "京" represents Beijing.
The application requirement and time taken vary and are subject to each provincial government. Taking the process for business registered in Shanghai City as an example illustrated below. The required details by each provincial government can be found here.. Please note that the relevant application websites are only available in Chinese version. Check pdf version of ICP Application Process here
Public Security Registration
Once obtained the filing/license above, ICPs shall continue to apply for filing at local police station within 30 days. Users shall directly go through the process defined by the station without 21Vianet’s involvement in between. Check pdf version of Public Security Registration here