As we know,an ICP license is required before your domain names are accessible if pointed to a server in Mainland China.Namely,you have to get the license , if you want host your sites within China Mainland.Unfortunately,it's extremely hard for individuals who's not Chinese to get an ICP license.We are not talking about a big business site.If your company is among the Global 500, it'll be pretty much easier to get the ICP license.
Maybe,you've heard someone who's hosting their sites in China without the license.But, trust me, It won't last long. And don't consider hosting your sites with the providers that claim ICP license is not required in their DC.
I've experienced an unpleasant suspension caused by the ICP issue.My domain was not licensed , and the provider told me that's ok . For the first 3 months, the servers was stable,and the network connection is brilliant (About 50-80ms latency in all provinces in China,including HongKong,and Taiwan).I even recommended it to some of my friends ,but suddenly when my server IP address was blocked by Communications Authority (Not DC).Thanks to the providers who said to authority that my domain was in the process of applying a ICP license,or I won't be siting here at dorm in front of my laptop writing this article. I believe the provider was telling the truth , but the policy changes all the time.
My advise is to make things easier.As is mentioned above,if it's not the website of a Global 500 company,consider hostings VPS and dedicated servers out of China Mainland.I've hosted my website in DCs in Janpan,HongKong,Korea(only used webhosting),Singapore,and of cours , US(West Coast).US is out of the list because the network connection between Mainland China and US is terribly bad(it's getting better now , but still a big latency). Note:
- To Tokyo , latency looks nice during the day , but at night it usually doubles.(God knows what the Janpanese boys are downloading at night)
- HongKong is a good choice if your site don't have a heavy traffic.(Bandwidth to Mainland is low)
- Korea servers are expensive , I have not used VPS or dedicated servers in Korea.NOTE that if your server is attacked , you'll have to pay for a fine,which is also expensive.
- Singapore is where my sites are hosted.OneAsiaHost provides a network that is optimized for Mainland China.(Not available for their core VPS plans)
If you have any questions or advise , feel free to leave a comment.