Knowledgebase: General

Important terms regarding servers and hosting in China

Posted by , Last modified by Matthias Haarmann on 19 January 2023 11:58

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network is a network of several geographically distributed, but connected servers. When a user makes a request, this system helps to assign the best server to them based on certain key figures (such as the location of the user, the utilization of the server or the network connection), which then processes the request. Some CDNs also have servers in China, which makes it possible for them to provide websites in China with high performance - due to the increased complexity, however, such CDN solutions are quite expensive in China. Special proxy solutions, such as the proxy cache solution from China, are available as inexpensive alternatives with almost identical performance in China.

Golden Shield Project (Projekt Goldener Schild)

The "Golden Shield Project" is one of the important "golden" projects of the Chinese state. The "Golden Shield Project" is intended to provide security authorities with the means to monitor public communication networks and computer information systems so that they can react appropriately in the event of security breaches. The first phase of the project started in 1999. Here, the focus was primarily on the development of information and communication networks and the corresponding databases. This phase was completed after 3 years, in 2002. In the second phase, which lasted another 2 years, improvements were primarily made to the existing systems.

The term "Golden Shield Project" is often used as a synonym for the term "Great Firewall of China", which is not actually correct. Although the "Great Firewall of China" is part of the "Golden Shield Project", the latter includes the control of foreign Internet traffic as well as domestic activities over communication networks. As a result of this increased monitoring of security breaches, for example, customers of Chinese Internet cafés now also have to display their identity cards before using the computers. If security breaches then occur during use, the owner of the Internet café can make the data of the respective person available to the police.

Great Firewall of China

As part of the "Golden Shield Project", the "Great Firewall of China" is an important instrument of the Chinese state, which allows it, in particular, to analyze all Internet communication that crosses China's borders. The data packets are checked against certain criteria and, depending on the result of the check, forwarded or rejected. This check naturally takes time, which is why the "Great Firewall of China" is the main reason why all Western websites, which do not use solutions specifically optimized for China, load very slowly if at all (timeouts) in China.

ICP Lizenz 

The ICP license (Internet Content Provider License) must be applied for from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) before a website can be hosted on a server in China. The ICP certification is divided into two areas: the first stage is the "ICP Filing" stage, with which a purely informal website may be operated after receipt. The ICP Filing can be extended in the second stage to a Commercial ICP license (which is primarily required for online shops and other e-commerce sites). Further information can be found in our related article about the ICP license.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is a Chinese authority, which, among other things, is responsible for the regulation and development of the Internet and information goods. As a result of this, the granting of the ICP license also falls within the remit of this authority.

PSB Filing

After ICP licensing, the so-called PSB Filing has to be submitted to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) for processing. The PSB is actually what grants permission to officially use the ICP license, once an additional check has been carried out. You can read more information about PSB Filing in our article on PSB Filing.

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