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I am considering hosting a mirror of my site in mainland China (to be inside the "Great Firewall" and thus faster for Chinese users).
Though my site is pro-bono and non-political, I'm not entirely sure what would happen if someone random (in government say) took exception to my content on a "bad hair day". Do they just force my SG-based hosting company to pull the plug? Do black helicopters turn up at my home in London (and will I have to learn Mandarin to ask for my lawyer)? B^>
Also, given that I don't understand AT ALL internal connectivity within China, if most of my current users seem to be from Beijing according to Google Analytics, is is it sure that I should host at a Beijing site, or what other factors/measurements should I make?
We do have this old thread that you can refer to in the meantime: The importance of hosting Top Sites in China; Myth or Reality? [webmasterworld.com]
Thanks for that: I had already learned all I know on the subject from that excellent thread.
Having re-read it I need to add the question:
Do I need to get any sort of licence to host a mirror of my main (non-political, non-news, pro-bono) site in mainland China?
My (SG-based) hosting company came back to me with answers on some of my questions, including:
There are only two main Telcos in China, China Telecom and China Net Com. One is responsible for the North and the other the South. Within China, the users are connected to their provincial telcos, before they connect to the National Backbone.
For the benefits of a 'bit' faster site/s you may give away all economic/legal flexibility.
In order to control potential liabilities I would keep all server and financial related services outside of the country of operations.
Once you started shop this is hard to do, but a this looks like a fresh start take advantage of the possibilities.
Political/moral/ethical beliefs shift fast these days. Must stay on ur toes;-)
Note that this will just be the 6th of my servers/mirrors for this domain (all the others being outside China), catering (rather over-catering for now!) to the approx 1% of my visitors from Beijing alone.
If someone gets nasty and tries to shut me down (which is a real risk, I agree, even though my site is pro-bono and politically neutral, it does mention "Tibet" and "Mongolia" for example as locations) then I will let that mirror go and not bother again, at least for a while.
It is a bit of a punt for me, but not a fatal blow if it goes wrong.
The hosting company, which has a lot more to lose than me I'd say given its business interests in China, doesn't seem uneasy.
[edited by: DamonHD at 8:41 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2006]
ICP commercial license are only needed if you intend to resell/provide your hosting services to end-users or your contents are related with offical news, medical stuff, e-commerce, etc
If you want to get the commercial license, your company's registered capital must be above 1 million Yuan(RMB).
Another license is ICP personal llicense,which be get simply. you only submit your personal info to MII(Ministry of Information Industry).
But it's not strictly. I know that many sites should register ICP commercail license instead of personal license.
As I understand it:
China to close local websites if unregistered [webmasterworld.com]
In January 2005, a regulation was issued stating that all websites hosted inside China (not including those hosted outside China) must be registered or approved.
You can submit your website information to the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry here:
- All commercial websites must be approved
- All non-commercial websites must be registered
They say that you can obtain your registration or approval number within 20 days or so.
ICP commercial license are only needed if you intend to resell/provide your hosting services to end-users or your contents are related with official news, medical stuff, e-commerce, etc
But many commercial company, which is certainly for profit, simply register a non-commercial license, because the government of China is only sensitive to ideology.
All the sites related news, publication, education and health need to get a special license approved by the other ministry/bureau, such as The State Food and Drug Administration/Ministry of Health, General Administration of Press and Publication, The State Adminstration of Radio Film and Television, Ministry of Culture,etc.
The government connives that the small business company only get a non-commercial license. So, Damon's site is a "personal" site too. :)
[edited by: Gavins at 9:44 am (utc) on Oct. 5, 2006]
I am hosted in Chongqin, organised by a Chinese hosting company with a US presence. I didn't know anything about registration, so did not ask for it.
On checking my whois info, it lists the company as "Sponsering Registrar" and also a numeric-cn "ROID" - is this all that's needed?
[added] It's non-commercial except for Adsense. [/added]
[edited by: HarryM at 1:41 pm (utc) on Oct. 11, 2006]
Ask your hosting company to look at the thread that bill dug out for me:
since my (Asian!) hosting company assured me that I did not need a licence until I got them to read that!
A lot of people seem to rent space at Shanghai Telecom which has acceptable speeds. I'm still waiting to hear about offers from the North. From the meetings I had a lot more people were recommending the Southern hosting options. We'll see how things turn out.