Apple on Wednesday announced plans to set up its first data centre as part of a $1 billion USD investment in the Chinese province of Guizhou, highlighting the company’s efforts to expand within the country.
According to a new report from Reuters, Apple is looking to double down on its business in mainland China by establishing a data centre in Guizhou province to comply with rigid cybersecurity laws, while supporting Beijing’s efforts to develop one of the country’s poorest areas into a world-class hi-tech hub.
The data centre was partly driven by new measures that bolster control over the collection and movement of Chinese users’ data, and can also grant the government unprecedented access to foreign companies’ technology. Forcing companies to store information within the country has already led some to tap cloud computing providers with more local server capacity.
An Apple spokesman in Shanghai told Reuters the centre is part of a planned $1 billion investment into the province. “The addition of this data centre will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations,” Apple said in a statement.
“These regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies so we’re partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud,” it said, referring to its online data storage service.
The company also established two centres in Beijing and Shenzhen last year, highlighting the importance of the Chinese market, the world’s largest smartphone arena where Apple is losing ground to local players such as Huawei and Oppo.