ICP license (abbreviation for Internet Content Provider; Chinese: ICP备案; pinyin: ICP bèi'àn; literally "ICP record") is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to permit China-based websites to operate in China. The ICP license numbers for Chinese websites can often be found on the bottom of the front webpage.
This license regime was instated by the Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China (《中华人民共和国电信条例》) that was promulgated in September 2000. By the letter of the law, all websites with their own domain name that operate inside China are required to obtain a license, and China-based Internet service providers are required to block the site if a license is not acquired within a grace period. Licenses are issued at the provincial level.
Operating from China is also a prerequisite for acquiring a license. Foreign companies such as Google, unable to acquire an ICP license on their own, often partner with Chinese Internet companies to use the licenses of the Chinese company.
- State Council of the People's Republic of China (2005-12-10). "中华人民共和国电信条例" (in Chinese). Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- Bishop, John; Chris Myrick (2006-02-23). "Google license issue seized by China to make political statement". Focus. Forbes. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- Lemon, Sumner (2006-02-21). "Nothing unusual about Google borrowing ICP". Infoworld. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- Ministry of Information Industry Records (Chinese)
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