In 2005, MIIT issued regulations for Non Commercial Internet Content/Information Provider and stated that any internet content/information provider was not allowed to provide internet content service without a valid ICP Beian filed in the MIIT’s ICP system. Since then, the ICP Beian has been a mandatory requirement for all ChinaCDN customers.
With the internet industry and CDNs being relatively new to China at the time, to foster industry growth, the authorities did not strictly enforce the local hosting requirement during the ICP Beian process and with consent from the local authorities, ChinaCDN was able to provide this solution to all ChinaCDN global customers.
From 2016 onwards, a series of enforcement notices (see links 1, 2 and 3 below) have collectively stated that organizations who intend to serve their websites to end users in China must do so from servers located within China, and are required to setup hosting under the domain with a China based ISP.
So, what is happening now?
In July 2017, the MIIT further clarified that CDN services are strictly prohibited without a valid ICP (see link 3 below). As such, the government has signaled their intention to more strictly regulate how it issues and enforces the use of ICP Beian. Akamai and its partners in China agree that these requirements will affect customers with existing ICP Beian as well as those looking to procure new ICP Beian.
Due to this stricter enforcement of the ICP registration rules by MIIT, customers will need to host some content, with a licensed hosting service provider in China.
What does this mean for new and existing ICP registrations?
Any new ICP Beian applications will require some content to be hosted in China. There is some level of ambiguity concerning specifics of how much content needs to be hosted in China. The requirement can vary based on local regulation in different provinces/regions as well as the interpretation of rules by the ISP facilitating the procurement of the ICP Beian (ICP sponsor). Some ISPs have been known to ask for the www domain to be hosted in mainland China.
If you do not have a preferred hosting provider in China, Akamai can facilitate discussions with its partners.
Existing ICP records also need to be updated to include local hosting provider information, if they do not have it already. Customers who procured their ICP Beian registration via Akamai’s partner relationship, and were affected, have already been notified.
For any questions/concerns, please contact your Akamai account team. Your account team’s contact information can be obtained from Luna Control Center (Support > Contact Support > Akamai Team for …). If you do not see this option in Luna Control Center, please reach out to your Point of Contact at the Akamai partner through with Akamai services have been procured and request them to put you in touch with your Akamai team.
For an ICP Beian registration that was procured via another service provider, it is recommended to contact the ICP sponsor to determine if any action is required.
Links (in Chinese)