The Complete Guide to Software Copyright Certificates in China


The Complete Guide to Software Copyright Certificates in China

A Software Copyright Certificate (SCC) is required for every mobile app published in China. It is a legal document registered with the Chinese Copyright Administration Bureau, proving ownership of the app and copyrighting it.

The SCC is used to prove and protect the copyright of your mobile app in China. It contains a unique identification number, the name of the app, and the company that owns the certificate. The name of the app must match the name on the certificate. If the app name changes, a new certificate must be applied. This isn’t a trademark, but it proves the ownership of the app to the Chinese app stores.

We use this certificate to post apps on Chinese app stores and remove unauthorized copies of your app using the same or similar names.

No. China isn’t covered by intellectual property registration in the rest of the world. It has its own copyright and trademark registration systems and protections.

Any company, Chinese or non-Chinese, can apply for an SCC, though it is easier for a Chinese company to do so. Even though we register many apps on behalf of our clients, our agreement makes it clear that the sole copyright for the app rests with the app owner and not us.

You need one SCC per app. Please remember that if the names of either your company or app change, you will need a new certificate.

About 2 to 4 weeks.

  • Basic information about your company – Including name, address and business license number.
  • Operation manual – This is a document that shows how users will use your app.
  • Source code sample – A document containing the first 2,000 lines and last 2,000 lines of your app’s source code.

By providing a small sample of your source code, you receive an additional layer of protection. This small snippet can be used to prove ownership in a copyright dispute. This is the only reason any entity would review your code sample. There is no need to worry about your code sample being copied by another party.

There are three options for foreign companies to register an SCC:

  1. Register with your Chinese subsidiary if you already have one. The process is a little cumbersome, though we can solve that by applying for it on your behalf. We can do all the necessary paperwork and coordination with the authorities while ensuring that your Chinese subsidiary is the legal owner of the SCC.
  2. AppInChina can apply for your SCC under our license as we are a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise based in Beijing. In this circumstance, we would be listed as the official publisher of your app in China, but do not worry: We have a detailed contract which ensures that while we are holding the SCC on your behalf, you retain full control, ownership, and copyright of your app. The majority of our clients prefer this method because it’s generally easier and less complicated.
  3. It is possible to apply for the SCC under a foreign entity by notarizing your company’s business license through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. (for U.S.-based companies), which can take at least 2 to 3 months. However, we do not recommend obtaining an SCC using the credentials of a foreign entity for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it is complicated and time-consuming. When opening an app store account before publishing apps, many top Chinese app stores do not accept business licenses from foreign companies as proof of legitimacy. As a result, the SCC obtained through your foreign entity will not be able to distribute your app to enough Chinese app stores to achieve user growth.

How can AppInChina help?

As part of our standard suite of services, AppInChina provides a dashboard and personalized service that makes it as simple and easy as possible to apply for and receive your Software Copyright Certificate. Contact us today to learn more.