About setting up website in China

In the past 2 weeks I help a friend to set up his company website in China.  As you know to set up a website you always need to purchase a domain name and rent a virtual server locally near your potential clients, before you install and set up the website.  The post is about the registration of domain and server in China.  And it’s quite an experience for me.

The easy part to register domain and server in China, is like all the outside counterparts, you just need a credit card to purchase any not-yet-registered .com, .com.cn or .cn domain.


The hard part, or to be specific the 1st hard part, is that you can read Chinese because almost all popular domain selling websites in mainland China, like the most popular one ‘www.net.cn’ (which is a Alibaba subsidiary) only provides Chinese content and instruction.  You’ll find some website based in Hong Kong do provide English.  But since these site’s server locates in Hong Kong instead of mainland China, in terms of performance, response, stability and Chinese search engine-spotting capability, they are usually hard to compete with the mainland’s counterpart.  So if your potential targeting clients are in mainland China, you don’t actually have much choices.  After checking the posts and threads in several mainland Chinese forums and QA websites, I choose the http://www.net.cn for the domain and server renting.

The 2nd hard part comes after you successfully paid for your domain and rent your virtual server.  Because in China, every website to be legally operated has to be registered and be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China first, no matter your website is for individual or commercial purpose.  Without the approval, the domain and server provider won’t even allow your website to be accessible.

To register, you’ll need to submit your personal information,  address, contacts, and China ID card photo copies.  If it’s for commercial usage, you also need to submit Chinese company business registration information, company bank account and also photo copies of all required supporting documents.  And finally, you’ll need to go to an appointed photo studio near your living city to take a picture, to prove that you are the one handling the website.  If you cannot make it to any of the photo studio within 2 days (from the date of document submission), you can apply to have the photo backdrop mail to you, then you take the picture at your place following the requirement, using the backdrop, and then submitted the photo to the authority.

Since I rent the domain in http://www.net.cn, one good thing is that they had a separate website helping you with this registration.  So you can submit all the information and attachment to net.cn instead, and they will verify the material and submit it to the ministry for you if everything is ok.  It is one of the main reason I choose them in the first place.

After the submission is completed, you’ll be notified to wait for around 20 days for the ministry approval.  Right now I’m waiting for the approval status.  Hopefully I can get it done by mid-July.

If you have any further question.  Feel free to drop a comment.  Bye now~


UPDATE: Friday, 20 June, 2014

Finally I receive confirmation from http://www.net.cn about the approval of the website.  Hooray!