The recent regulatory changes for publishing mobile apps and games in Chinese app stores have brought about a significant shift. To help you navigate this new landscape, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to swiftly adapt to the revised regulations and understand their implications for your apps.
For New App Submissions:
Starting from September 1, 2023, all new apps must undergo the ICP Filing process before they can be published on app stores in China. This rule applies to Apple App stores, as well as all Android app stores and mini-program app stores in China.
Apple has already enforced this law by mandating a valid ICP Filing number for new app submissions in the China region by September 30, 2023. For more details, refer to the documentation on “Availability in China mainland”:
“China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) now requires all apps to possess a valid Internet Content Provider (ICP) Filing Number. Games must also obtain an approval number, and apps with books and magazine content or religious content must secure specific permits from the respective Chinese regulatory authorities. If your app falls into these categories and you plan to offer it on the App Store in China, you must provide the required information and supporting documents.”
For Existing Apps:
Existing apps must provide a valid ICP Filing Number before March 31, 2024, or face removal from app stores in China. This gives app owners and companies a 10-month timeframe to obtain the necessary ICP Filing number and required licenses to operate in China.
Key Requirements for Obtaining an ICP Filing Number
Chinese Legal Business Entity: To operate an app or mini-program in China, you need a Chinese legal business entity that holds all the required licenses. International app developers must collaborate with a local partner, like 21YunBox, to publish and operate their apps in China.
API or Web Services Domains: Provide details of the domains used in the app, including second-level, third-level, and fourth-level domain names, each already having a website ICP Filing Number.
App Icon: Submit the most common app icons used across multiple platforms.
Declaration of Restricted Category: If your app falls into specific categories such as news, publishing, education, healthcare, etc., provide proof that the Chinese legal entity holds the necessary licenses to operate in that category.
App Type: Select the appropriate category from a list that includes options like domestic services, food, leisure & entertainment, travel, transportation, education, and more.
App Details for Each Platform: Provide app details for each platform, including app package name, signature MD5 value, and platform public key.
Basic Information of the Person in Charge of the App: Provide Chinese ID number, name, mobile number, office phone number, email, and WeChat ID (instant messaging in China).
Where to Apply for the Mobile App ICP Filing Number
Submit your application to the filing system (available in Chinese) at http://beian.miit.gov.cn. We assist our customers throughout this process to ensure a smooth filing experience.
In case of incomplete or inaccurate materials, the provincial-level Communication Administration Bureau will reject the filing and notify the applicant accordingly.
After submitting the filing materials, the provincial-level Communication Administration Bureau typically completes the filing within twenty (20) working days. They will issue a filing number and notify the applicant via SMS or email. You can also check the status through the filing system website at http://beian.miit.gov.cn.
Displaying the ICP Filing Number in Your App
Once you obtain an ICP Filing Number, ensure it is clearly displayed within your app, for example in the “Settings” or “Introduction” screen. Make it easily visible and avoid hiding it or using inconspicuous colors.
How We Can Assist You
We specialize in assisting businesses with applying for and securing their China compliance licenses. If you need assistance and support in this process, reach out to us for a free consultation session.
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