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Major upgrade to the ICP license system in China – Photo ID now required

June 30th, 2010 shadmin

From June 19th to July 19th, the ministry of industry and information technology will proceed to an upgrade to its ICP license system. During the upgrade, new ICP applications will not be accepted, and from June 5th, changes to existing ICP licenses will not be processed.

The new system make application for an ICP license even more complex. New changes include, among others:

1-On top of the national ICP system, which is managed by the ministry of industry and information technology, a provincial communication administration and server provider ICP systems have been introduced. There are now therefore three levels of approvals, with the applicant entering details through the server provider ICP system, which then will forward to the provincial communication administration, and finally to the national ICP system under the ministry of industry and information technology.

2-The server provider needs to verify the information provided by the applicant (telephone number, mobile, email, address etc.) and sign a document to provide to the ministry of information attesting that such verification has been properly conducted.

3-A “domain name certificate” has been added to the list of documents to provide with the application. Considering that such certificates are typically issued by Chinese registrars only, it might signal that foreign registered domain names cannot anymore be used to apply for the ICP license.

4-The domain name owner name (as per domain name certificate) must correspond to the company name on the ICP license application.

5-A copy of the business license certificate, and Chinese ID card of contact person must be provided (previously, only the license numbers and ID cards numbers were required to file on the application form).

6-The contact person must come in person to the server provider office and have its photograph taken (we will see the possibility of avoiding this by having applicant provide a photograph by email; instructions to be provided upon request)

7-All application documents must now be sent in hard copy to the server provider.

8-The ICP application system website will now be changed to

The three level application documents and the expanded list of documents make the whole ICP application much more difficult, and we estimate that it would push the application time from the current 2 to 3 weeks to a minimum of 1 to 3 months.

More rules or updates may come from the ministry of industry and information technology between now and the official launch of the new system on July 2oth, we will update this post accordingly.