Well, the thing is, in China, you have to have a licence to have a website, called an ICP. It costs money if you are commercial, even more money if an e-commerce site, as well as a bank deposit with a certain amount of registered capital. For non commercial entities it is free and no capital is required. The whole idea is that it is there to keep things (sites and content) legal. The original intent of this system was that only sites with a ICP would work. Now any site will work and if audited and no ICP is found, you are taken down by order of the government if you don’t acquire one somewhat expediently.
This week, via the trickle down effect in the echelons of the China network, we got informed that a couple of our clients are not compliant and they need to become so, or remove their website.
We have had to remove some clients sites before because they did not have the correct ICP. They could not get one because they did not have the correct business licences for the type of work they did.
Anyway, while having an ICP is a delicate balance between business licences, residential permits, correct content, correctly licenced IDC and what not, it is a good thing to get done and host in China. To be official, legit and free to get on with doing business.
For the most part getting an ICP, or the existence of an ICP is not a barrier to hosting or a problem to comply with. It sounds a whole lot more draconian than it really is. However it is a hassle. For you China hands, “mafan si le”!