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New China domain law goes into effect

must register with "complete" ID info

     
6:55 am on Oct 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This law goes into effect tomorrow, November 1, 2017:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-10/30/content_33897906.htm [chinadaily.com.cn]

Domain name holders to register with complete ID info

A new ministry regulation requiring applicants of domain names to provide complete identity information will take effect from Wednesday.

The updated regulation, adopted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in August, requires registrars to verify the accuracy of information submitted.


Here is a translation of the

https://www.chinalawtranslate.com/ [chinalawtranslate.com]

Internet Domain Name Management Measures


Under the new law, any domain name registered through a Registrar based in China or hosted within mainland China, must meet the following requirements:
  • Domain name is in a top-level domain (“TLD”) that has been approved by the MIIT
  • Domain name is registered through (aka sponsored by) a Registrar that has been licensed by a local, provincial arm of the MIIT, called a Communications Bureau (No non-China-based Registrar has achieved licensing to date.);
  • The Registrant for the domain name has successfully completed the Real Name Verification (“RNV”) process at the time of registration. The RNV process validates that the Registrant is a real person or entity subject to the laws and jurisdiction of China.
  • If a Registrant is hosting any domain name within mainland China, they also must obtain an Internet Content Provider (“ICP”) number to display on the domain name’s website home page.


Looks like they're really cracking down on domains. A far cry from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when they were practically giving .cn domains away, and they immediately became a favorite of spammers.
11:42 pm on Oct 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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About time wish all countries would make this a requirement. Just to many fake owners doing a lot of bad things with very little chance of getting caught.
4:54 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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From the country's perspective I understand the appeal of this, but trying to manage a portfolio of domains for an an international company just became a bit more difficult.

The advice I'm hearing now is to move China domains to Honk Kong, both for domain registration and website hosting. They're not affected by this ruling apparently, but it doesn't look like a good long term solution.
12:13 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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any domain name registered through a Registrar based in China or hosted within mainland China, must meet the following requirements


Therefore I assume that my two 12+ year old .cn domains registered in Germany and hosted in the UK comply. They're both working ok this morning.
2:56 pm on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I complied some time back, when they first announced the requirement, as I run local Chinese servers to bypass the ~500ms lag of the Great Firewall of China - these days over a third of my income is from my Chinese language sites.
8:36 am on Nov 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Therefore I assume that my two 12+ year old .cn domains registered in Germany and hosted in the UK comply. They're both working ok this morning.

Those domains aren't affected by this. It's only if you're hosting them in China and/or you registered the domains in China, that you need to be concerned.
I run local Chinese servers to bypass the ~500ms lag of the Great Firewall of China

I'll assume you already have an ICP #. When that expires you won't be able to renew it. They require a business to have a physical presence in China. You won't be able to register a ICP Bei’An any longer.
2:49 am on Nov 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'll assume you already have an ICP #. When that expires you won't be able to renew it. They require a business to have a physical presence in China. You won't be able to register a ICP Bei’An any longer.

I have a legal presence (WFOE: Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in China in each of the cities I have servers (Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xi'an). What is uncertain is whether I'll be able to maintain the existing ICP Zheng (commercial ICP) or if I'll be downgraded to an ICP Bei An; given current regulations and my business model a Bei An would be fine but the extra capability option is nice.

Note: while China is certainly extra interesting :) to do business in I have made it a policy to have an appropriate legal presence in every country in which I have servers; added expense but the benefits have occasionally proven worth the cost.
2:39 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The Bei’An is being completely phased out as an option for ICP registration if I understand correctly. At least in the terms of a website hosted in China it looks like you would need a citizen of China to own the domain and ICP registration. It's that Real Name Verification that might make it difficult for WFOE sites to continue to operate websites if they don't have local staff to handle these registrations for them.
3:46 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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According to my primary law-type-person (Chinese-Canadian) here in Canada and retained local Chinese attorneys I shouldn't have a problem.

The new Real Name Verification is mostly focussed on forum/SM users (iamlost would be outed :)). That said the various local, regional, and national government departments already have my real self well documented in regard to domains and business. Haven't been told anything about Bei An being phased out, if so here's hoping I can keep my Zheng! To keep in good with the WTO they can't close off too much foreign participation - I do know that these days getting a Zheng without Chinese partners is almost unheard and without their holding a majority rare; here's trusting to being grandfathered (or overlooked) forever!

I follow applicable regulations as described by the attorneys and have happily abided by all to date. Having registered paid up WFOEs with 15 year licences is apparently beneficial. At this point my Great Chinese Adventure proceeds apace. What the future will bring time will tell.
Note: I do have contingency plans A through C, just hoping can keep riding the tiger as it is really quite an interesting experience all told. And profitable.
6:32 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't know how they could strictly enforce these regulations without some international issues. Not everybody with a site in China can comply to all of these without some form of local presence. I've been told that enforcement is likely going to depend on the region where the site is hosted and the ICP license obtained, with areas like Beijing being more strict and Shanghai being more lenient.
3:54 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My registrar just informed me that I have to change the owner of the domain to a Chinese national with RNV registration. A foreign national apparently isn't applicable even if they reside in China. Need to ask more about that requirement, but they're refusing my company's expat management as possible registrants.
3:28 am on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've been waiting on a definitive answer regarding my cn domains and ICP licences before commenting further. The three most often cited problems with doing business in China:
* culturally different behaviours/expectations;
* a fascinatingly complex administration/bureaucracy;
* frequently changing legal business context.
ensure that my Great Chinese Adventure is never short of cliffhangers. Fortunately, I have very good local representation (retained lawyers, accountants, tech/host) that appear to have done their jobs extremely well.

I went into China under the auspices of the signing of the 2012 Canada-China BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty), which went into effect in 2014. As previously mentioned I am present there via WFOEs with retained local legal, accountancy, and tech advisors. Given various sensitivities I'm not going into detail, however MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce, PRC) says that all is fine, as is, going forward.

Which, given the steadily growing percentage of revenue those sites are producing is a tremendous relief.
3:28 pm on Dec 29, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, I now know why my Chinese domains are 'fine'.
I'm not about to be specific in a public forum, however, if one follows recent news it is discernible. Let us just say that my sites are 'an example' that is good/bad depending on the point being made; currently good.
For now I'll just keep tiptoeing through the tulips.
11:02 pm on Dec 29, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It is fascinating to see all the obviously fake ICP numbers in the web usage surveys that I run. Basically, lottery landing pages and similar make up a significant proportion of Chinese websites in the surveys and a string of 8s seems to be a popular ICP number. The Chinese domain names also have a high non-renewal rate as it seems to be a highly speculative market without the stability of higher domain name registration fees.

Regards...jmcc
 

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