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What is an ICP License?

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What: The Internet Content Provider (ICP) license is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that authorizes China-based websites to operate in Mainland China.

Why: Knowing that the company behind a Chinese business website is a verified, legitimate business is an important piece of information that ensures the company with which you’re aiming to do business is representing itself accurately in terms of its offerings and business scope.


The Internet Content Provider (ICP) license (in Chinese ICP备案; in pinyin: ICP bèi'àn) is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that authorizes China-based websites to operate in Mainland China. The ICP license numbers for Chinese websites can often be found on the bottom of the front webpage

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issues two different types of ICP numbers. Each is managed at the provincial level.  

  1. The ICP license for commercial websites covers any website offering goods or services to customers. These numbers follow the format 京ICP证12345678号 (where 京 represents Beijing).

  2. ICP filings are issued for non-commercial websites that provide information only and are not involved in direct sales. These numbers follow the format 京ICP备12345678号 (where 京 represents Beijing).

An ICP number takes approximately 20 business days from submission to issuance. The company first submits documentation to a hosting provider, who upon validation sends the packet to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for further review. Companies must provide additional information if the documents are rejected at either stage of the process.

Additional Resources

Questions? We can help. At Nuna Network we offer a variety of valuable guides, tips, and other practical information to help you navigate the sometimes complex landscape with Chinese businesses. We remain the partner of choice for small- and medium-sized businesses seeking guidance in researching, developing, and launching relationships with companies in China. We are your go-to resource for valuable information in navigating the sometimes complex landscape of business operations in China.

In addition, Nuna Network offers a range of validation, verification, and due diligence products and services that can help you determine the authenticity of a range of the many aspects and considerations that are a part of establishing a business relationship with a Chinese company.

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