Why My Website Is Blocked In China?

Online Censorship In China affects website URL's and keywords from the website content.

If you are operating a website targeted for Chinese audience you must get a Chinese Internet Content Provider license.

Chinese Internet Content Provider license is a permit issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to permit China-based websites to operate in China. The ICP license numbers for Chinese websites can often be found on the bottom of the front webpage.

By the letter of the law, all websites with their own domain name that operate inside China are required to obtain a license, and China-based Internet service providers are required to block the site if a license is not acquired within a grace period. Licenses are issued at the provincial level.

Operating from China is also a prerequisite for acquiring a license. Foreign companies such as Google, unable to acquire an ICP license on their own, often partner with Chinese Internet companies to use the licenses of the Chinese company.

Visit https://en.greatfire.org/ to test if any URL or website content is blocked or otherwise restricted in China in real-time. The website uses test locations inside China and provides transparent test results and conclusions on censorship. Also provides a database of blocked URLs going back to February, 2011.

Two sides of the story

1. The automatic assumption is that China is scared of greater internet freedom. Actually, while China does ban some of the websites because of the information they contain (Amnesty, Wikileaks).

2. The ban on the others is nothing more than plain old protectionism. Stamping out foreign competition is nothing new. All countries do it. But China is quickly becoming the most aggressive and protectionist country out there.