Apple Turns Over China iCloud Services to State-Owned Data Firm
Apple Turns Over China iCloud Services to State-Owned Data Firm
Apple: Chinese firm to operate China iCloud accounts
11 January, 2018, 15:35
Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) will take over the operations of all Apple's China iCloud data services from February 28 and all the company's data will be stored domestically in China, according to Caixin. "Our cooperation with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data will improve the speed and reliability of our service, which is also in accordance with China's new Cyber Security Law", Apple told the Chinese newspaper.
The shift in how Apple manages cloud data for Chinese customers comes in the wake of new cybersecurity legislation, which came into effect late previous year.
"For the past few years, Guizhou has put on an annual International Big Data Industry Expo to highlight its new role as a big data hub in China", said Jabez Tan, research director at Toronto-based Structure Research, in an interview.
Apple made the move to comply with the country's latest regulations on cloud services.
While that infrastructure project was drawn up to comply with China's Cybersecurity Law, it also showed how Apple and other major hi-tech companies have shown their support for Beijing's goal to turn the poor and mostly mountainous province into a world-class hi-tech location.
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Having domestic control over mainland Chinese iCloud accounts will delight the Beijing authorities, who have been pushing to oversee Apple's software presence in the country for months. Customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD were given the option to terminate their account.
Both moves - the VPN removal and the new iCloud agreement - brought about a large wave of protest against Apple, both in China and in the United States.
For Apple users, iCloud is typically a place to store data such as music, photos and contacts.
Government media have been exerting increased pressure on Apple to operate in line with China's strict media regulations, or else be forced out of the market.
Read into it what you will, but the ties between Apple and the Chinese government are strengthening.
Apart from securing a data centre venture with the Guizhou provincial government, USA mobile chip supplier Qualcomm also signed a strategic cooperation with the government in 2016 to design and sell server chipsets in China.
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