Yesterday was another day that baffled my mind in Mainland China and Business. That morning I visited my B2B website (www.SourceTheGlobe.com) that is hosted by a dedicated server in Mainland China. That afternoon I could not connect to my website, so I messaged my developers in Chongqing, China who advised me that my B2B site has been blocked and that I should follow-up with the hosting company in Shanghai, China.
So that’s what I did, they responded that the government of China is cracking down on websites without an ICP license (http://www.miibeian.gov.cn/) who are operating in China so my website has been blocked and cannot be unblocked until I fill out two forms. So I asked them to send me the forms, which they did right away, the forms arrived in Chinese, so I sent them off to friends for translation and assistance. I was advised that the forms requested that I disclose my IP address, Root Name, and Password for my server to them. I was also advised that I should return the forms by fax not email. I decided it would be easier to stop by my hosting (www.7×24.cn) company’s office, so that’s what I did.
Next problem starts now, After I filled in the forms and disclosed my information, I was advised that I can no longer host my website in Mainland China as I don’t have an ICP license. Previously (July, 2009) I started the application for my ICP license but since I did not have a Chinese business name I could not apply. But now I have a Chinese name for my business so I figured the simple solution would be to apply for my ICP license. Not so simple, since my Company is a Hong Kong, China Corporation I cannot apply for an ICP license in Mainland China. I will need to have a Mainland Chinese Corporation to apply for an ICP license.
So I was advised that best solution would be for me to move my hosting to Hong Kong. This is something that I looked into previously but due to the great Mainland China Wall I decided it would be best to set up a server in Mainland China. Prior to hosting my website in Mainland China I used a hosting service in the USA (www.slicehost.com, www.aplus.net). But I found my website was often blocked, inaccessible, or slow to open in Mainland China, so I was advised that if I plan to do business in Mainland China I should have a server in Mainland China.
Alternatively I could set up a Mainland Chinese Corporation, which is not so easy for a foreigner unless you invest allot of money in Mainland China that cannot be taken out of Mainland China. One more option is I could go to someone who I trust in Mainland China who owns a Mainland Chinese Corporation and ask them to apply for the ICP license for my website under their company name. I figured I could ask my development team in Chongqing to apply for my ICP license but that is not as simple as they are in Chongqing and my hosting company is in Shanghai.
I could go on for another 10 pages about this issue and business in the Mainland but at this stage I do see the point. Today, I must deal with another issue of registering with the Police Station as a foreigner living in the Mainland every time I arrive into Country.
I will continue to be open, share my passion for fashion, promote global trade and try my best to appease the request, demands, requirements of Mainland China and the Great Wall. That’s my life and my reality so now I must make the best of it with a friendly Canadian Smile and wave.