Apple’s First Data Centre in China to be Operated by Chinese Company Starting February

Apple’s iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company as of February 28, as part of the broader push by the US technology giant to satisfy the growing demand for cloud computing services from Chinese consumers.

According to a new report from BBC, photographs, documents and other personal information uploaded to the iCloud accounts of Apple users will be stored thereafter in a data centre run by in the province of Guizhou. The firm, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China.

“Chinese users like to use iCloud to securely store photos, videos, documents, and applications and stay in sync on all devices. We believe new partnerships will improve the Chinese iCloud user experience by reducing latency and improving reliability,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social affairs said.

While moving iCloud to China will improve the speed and reliability of Apple’s services, it raised data protection concerns since all data will be required to be reviewed and approved by Chinese regulators before transferring abroad.

Today the company started to inform its Chinese clients of iCloud of the move, and the data will be transferred and stored in the new centre on February 28. This measure aims to increase transparency and offer Chinese users a safer and more fluid service, the company said.

In July 2017, Apple set up its first data centre in China in an effort to comply with country’s newly passed cybersecurity regulations. The data centre project is part of the tech giant’s planned $1 billion investment in Guizhou province and is operated in partnership with GCBD.