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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

WSJ Chinese Site has no ICP number?
does anyone know why?

 4:19 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

so I thought that if you run a site in China, you have to have an ICP number displayed on the site. But looking at chinese.wsj.com, they don't have one. Does this mean they are hosted outside of China?

I looked at their contact info on the site, and they have phone numbers in Beijing and Shanghai.



 5:53 am on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's a very good question.

That portion of the site is hosted in China. However, it's a sub-domain of wsj.com, which is a US company.

I'm not exactly sure where the ICP regulation draws the line. If the WSJ is playing by the rules then we could assume that subdomains aren't covered by this regulation. Could any of our members from China clear this one up?


 8:07 pm on Dec 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

pinging chinese.wsj.com gives me the IP address, looking that up, it's located in Beijing. So how is it that it doesn't have an ICP number?

Also, does anyone know how the whole censorship thing works for WSJ? Are they not allowed to talk about certain things? I am really amazed that a brand like WSJ would operate in China with all the censorship laws. You would think that they wouldn't want to risk their editorial integrity by operating in China.


 3:54 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I checked the domain and found that the website is hosted somewhere in south China. I assume they have already had an ICP license issued by local government. Maybe they forgot to place ICP number in the footer of the homepage!
According to the regulation, they must place their ICP number on the homepage, otherwise they may be punished! In other word, showing ICP number on the homepage is compulsory for them.


 3:58 am on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

hehe, does anyone want to blackmail the wall street journal and tell them to give you a link or two or you will report them to the chinese government? (of course, I am just kidding)


 1:03 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many sites have the ICP license but do not show it at their website.


 2:42 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

seo4china, are you sure about that? I always thought ICP numbers are required, every big site in China has them.


 10:24 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

not all web sites in china need to have a icp number,chinese.wsj.com is not a chinese company and its domain name is a subname,just so easy


 1:25 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

From my experience even companies that are not Chinese require the ICP registration if they are physically hosted within China. I've had the hosting company acquire this registration on my company's behalf.
It is the company's responsibility to display this registration number on the site to the best of my knowledge.

This portion of the WSJ site appears to be hosted in China. If so, they probably have an ICP registration. The question then is why aren't they displaying it.


 2:12 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

icp number is provided by the MIIT(Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the Peoples Republic China),here are their policy:

a site with a top-domain which is located in china should hava a icp number.

but in fact,many websites in china dont have the registration,it's not strange at all.


 11:34 am on Feb 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that they have the registration, but don't display it? What are the regulations on displaying the ICP number?


 12:27 pm on Feb 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

it can't be.in china,it is not easy to gain a icp number,if they have a icp registration,i bet they will display it.

there are two kinds of icp registrations in china:for-profit or none,the wsj-china is a for-profit website,but for it's sub-domain name,it need not to have a icp registration.

finally, i should to say:chinese webmasters don't think the icp numbers to be a grateful thing,on the contrary,i hate the icp numbers,it is a deviant thing.


 12:12 am on Feb 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

it can't be.in china

The IP address this site is resolving to has already been traced to a host in South China in message #:3800512 above.

but for it's sub-domain name,it need not to have a icp registration.

By that same argument www is a subdomain as well. A subdomain is a treated as a separate website by most search engines. I'll bet the people controlling the ICP registrations are savvy enough to recognize that. If it were that easy to get around ICP registration, and the registration is not as popular as you say, then everyone could avoid compliance by using subdomains?

Are there sections in the regulations that deal with this sort of case, or are they simply negligent as redstorm suggested?


 2:36 am on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

You miss the point,bill,i say:"it can't be" is mean what you said above can't be,and china is a part of the follow sentence.

by the policy of MIIT,a website with a top-level doamin which is located in china must have a icp number.it means the website has the administration authority of its top-level domain,as you see,the WSJ china is only a sub-domain,and he has no the ownership of his TLD--wsj.com,so it needn't to have a icp number.

by the way,mybe you would disagree with me,i had looked up the icp registration for chinese.wsj.com in WIIT's official site,there was no record matched.


 7:23 am on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oops. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I missed that punctuation.


It's not that I don't believe you, it's just that I haven't heard anyone else mention this domain/sub-domain clause in the ICP registration regulations.

Is this mentioned somewhere on the website for the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry:

  • [miibeian.gov.cn...]
    If it's not mentioned there, perhaps somewhere else?

  • sdotuzi8612

     9:36 am on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    you can search the icp informations here:
    any records of sites which had passed the icp restration can be found on the official-site.

    dear bill,i cant explain the exact whys for you,in china,many rules are very confused. the only reason i can find is about the top or sub domain.

    my sites had been blocked by MIIT for icp issues these days,this made me unhappy.

    i'm going to hire a American host,so i won't need to apply for the #*$!ing ICPs.


     1:53 am on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Regulation is one thing, enforcement is another. Often times there is a gap and many hid in that gap.

    Also wordings, interpretation and layers of bureaucracy creates gray areas. This is common, those that had experience it in China knows what I mean.

    Furthermore, news, medical, education, publishing, television are subjected to different criteria
    refer to [miibeian.gov.cn...] the fifth document.

    By already operating and had been operating in China, and being a company that is the like of WSJ, it probably used a channel different from our website.

    Maybe they missed it, maybe they never bother about it. But be sure that if WSJ and your website are caught without ICP beian, the recourse will be very different.


     9:22 am on May 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

    1. Assume there's a website(www.example.com) which is hosted at Seattle, United States.

    2. A company in China is hired to run a squid proxy in BeiJing that only passes queries toward the website.

    3. An "A" record of "chinese.example.com" is added at the NameServer pointing the squid proxy.

    Is it gray?


     12:01 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

    wsj.com >>

    in us

    china website must have ICP
    I'm chinese I konw that


     12:07 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Welcome to WebmasterWorld fanqi and raoya.

    We know the wsj.com site in in the US, but the sub-domain with its Chinese content is in China (see above). We're not clear whether that sub-domain needs an ICP license or not.


     3:38 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Actually the subdomain part is clear. Every internet content service must be registered. That means even a website using just an IP, it has to be registered. So a subdomain has to be registered.
    Refer to [miibeian.gov.cn...]
    The regulations (in Chinese under 法律法规) are all there.

    I took a closer look this. WSJ is using a CDN. Which could mean that the server is not physically in China but the content is cached in a server in China.

    This is the point raised by fanqi above. This is indeed unspecified. My interpretation is that since the CDN provider is licensed so the onus is on them to monitor the content. Similar a hosting company can get into trouble (in fact many had) if they host unauthorized content.

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