An ICP license is your ticket to China's online market

2020/05/25 | 3 mins

The population of Chinese Internet users hit 930 million in 2020 and is forecast to grow to nearly 1.2 billion by 2025. This is one of the largest markets of consumers in the world and remains largely untapped by many international businesses due to the challenges involved in getting an ICP license.

An ICP license is a document required by any business, local or international, hoping to access the Chinese market in order to operate your website in China effectively.

In 1998 China has opened up to the world for business and had a quickly developed a fast-growing middle class who desired access to the internet. The Chinese government were concerned about their citizens being exposed to potentially harmful content online from the wider world such as information on guns, political issues and pornography. In response to this the Ministry of Public Security established the golden shield project and it began operations in 2003.

The golden shield project quickly become known as "The Great Firewall" it sought to moderate and control internet traffic into and out of China giving the government more power than you would see in other countries over information being transmitted.

The great firewall has multiple tools in its arsenal to achieve its objective.

ICP numbers on the Website

First of all, it can apply a total DNS block by checking the IP (Internet address) against a database of blocked IPs and flat out preventing a user in China from loading a site.

Next it will check for certain keywords inside a URL and if any of them are deemed sensitive or dangerous the website will again be blocked entirely.

Finally, the Great Firewall can do a scan of content on a webpage to ensure it is acceptable. If any of the content on your page is deemed undesirable, then, once again the page will be prevented from loading.

So, it sounds simple right? Just make sure your content is sanitised for the Chinese market and your will be online in China in no time, right?

Well, unfortunately, no that is not the case. The problem is that all these checks and scans on your content add valuable seconds to the time it takes for a website to load for your customers in China. While you might think that a few seconds extra is a small price to pay to reach Chinese consumers the users themselves think differently; studies show that the majority of mobile users will give up on a webpage loading after only 3 seconds.

Thankfully though there is a method to bypass the firewall entirely and give your customers the great experience they deserve. That is to acquire an ICP license. For businesses looking to access the Chinese market you need look no further than GoClick China. GoClick China have a wide range of solutions to get your business online as quickly as possible. Reach out to us today to find out how they can help your business to get online in China.

To learn more about succeeding in the China, check out our other articles.
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