China currently has around 720 million Internet users, which are spread out over a vast area. This means that content delivery in China requires an expansive network that can cover remote and urban regions. Additionally, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) lack peering between them and many mobile internet users are still on 2G networks. QUANTIL works with ChinaNetCenter to deliver content on over 600 Points of Presence (PoP) throughout mainland China. As the leading content delivery network in China according to Cedexis, we are able to provide the best solution for overcoming the infrastructure issues that can be faced in all areas of the region.
The Great Firewall of China
The main obstacle for Internet Content Providers in China is bypassing “The Great Firewall of China”. If your content is served from outside mainland China, end users are likely to encounter issues with download speeds. In some cases, content will be blocked. Additionally, online content can be blocked at any time without notice. Many businesses overcome this issue by hosting their content on an origin server in mainland China; for this, they are required to obtain an ICP license.
Content Licensing Challenges
The only foolproof way through the Great Firewall of China is to register as an Internet Content Provider (ICP). Without an ICP registration, a website can be shut down at any time. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) requires two types of certifications from Internet Content Providers, depending on the type of content that you are delivering:
ICP Filing (ICP Bei An, ICP备案)
Commercial ICP License (ICP Zheng, ICP经营许可证)
There are also other licenses required for industry-specific websites, such as news, publications, bulletin board systems (BBS), education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and others.
A legal entity in China is required to obtain any certification. Even some of the most popular sites on the Internet have not overcome this challenge, e.g., Facebook, Google, and Twitter. It is more challenging for sites that provide user-generated content (UGC), since this type of content is generally censored by the MIIT. For ICPs that do not have a local entity, there are alternative solutions available, such as our Advanced Near-China solution.
The application process for an ICP certification normally takes between 3 to 6 weeks. Internet laws in China are unique and dynamic, so it is important to be well informed of the requirements for ICP registration. QUANTIL works with ICPs to help them navigate the legal requirements while obtaining their certification. Learn more about the process and requirements in our Guide to ICP Certification in China.