The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, MIIT, of the People’s Republic of China, PRC, announced the new regulation policy for Mobile Internet Application, or APP, operation in China in the second half of 2023 — that all APP operators should apply for ICP filing before launch.

What is ICP?

ICP is short for Internet Content Provider. All operators that intend to provide information, information services, or added-value telecommunication services in PRC should apply for their ICP filing from the appropriate local provincial authority before they begin operation. Since 2005, all live websites in China have been required to show their ICP filing number at the bottom of their websites to maintain compliance.

APPs, like websites, are popular channels to provide information services on the Internet, and so to protect the benefits of Internet users, the supervision of APPs was deemed necessary.

In late July 2023, MIIT announced the formal policy, and in August that same year they provided further explanation. The key take aways are below:

  1. The new policy’s execution plan
    • For existing APPs, the operators need to have the ICP filing for their APPs ready and up to date before the end of March 2024
    • From April 2024 to June 2024, MIIT will begin inspection on APPs’ ICP filing statuses — for APPs that don’t have their ICP filing or the ICP filing information is not up to date, the APP could run the risk of being taken down
    • From July 2024 onward, the APP ICP filing policy is established as standard operating procedure
  2. How to apply for an APP’s ICP filing
    • The APP ICP filing requirements and process are the same as for website ICP filing. The applicant needs to submit the application through their hosting service provider. For applicants that already have their website ICP filing, they can add the APP information to their existing website ICP filing.
  3. Once you’ve obtained the ICP filing for your APP, make sure to display the ICP filing number in the APP’s settings or “about us” area.

To learn more about this policy you can ready the original announcement and the additional explanation that’s been provided. There is also a simplified chart for demonstration that you can review.

All ICP filings can be searched from MIIT’s official website here. If you have any questions or need any help with your ICP filings, do not hesitate to reach out to your Domain Portfolio Advisor, we are here to support you.