Apple set to open data centre in China

13 July 2017 | Natalie Bannerman

In a bid to comply with tougher cyber-security laws, Apple has recently announced that it will be building a new data centre in the southern Guizhou province of China and run by a company owned by the Chinese government.

By teaming up with the data management firm, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data, Apple is able to abide by the new Chinese law that requires data-storage providers to keep the information of mainland China customers on computers located within the country.

"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. These regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies so we're partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud, "Apple said in a statement to Reuters.

The development comes as an interesting move on the part of Apple, given that preserving customers’ privacy has become a cornerstone for the company under its current CEO Tim Cook. But as with many of its competitors like Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM similar deals had been made in order to appease the country’s rigid communist government.

The data centre will store photos, video, documents and other personal information uploaded to iCloud accounts by customers who live in mainland China, even when they’re travelling outside the country. Backups and other data stored in iCloud accounts by customers outside China will continue to be stored in data centres in the U.S. and eventually Denmark.

But the company has taken steps to reassure its customers saying in the statement: "As our customers know, Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems."

According to other reports Ajay Arora the CEO of data security specialist Vera, says that Apple's partnership with a company owned by the Chinese government increases the chances of the government prying into customer’s information. Arora said: "It's like Apple is putting the fox in charge of the hen-house.

Topics: China, Guizhou, Cloud, Apple, Government, Ajay Arora, Vera, Data Centre