Apple is partnering with an internet services firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry to install its first data centre in China to comply with communist government's new regulations that require cloud services to be operated by domestic firms.
The new regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies. “So we're partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud," Apple said referring to its online data storage service. The move of the foreign firm is its part of a planned $1 billion investment in the southern province of Guizhou.
This new data center would enable us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations, Apple spokesman in Shanghai was quoted as saying by Reuters Wednesday.
Apple is the first foreign firm to announce amendments to its data storage for China following the implementation of a new cyber-security law on June 1 that requires foreign firms to store data within the country.
Apple also assured that no backdoors will be created into any of our systems.
Overseas business groups said the law's strict data surveillance and storage requirements are too unclear, burdening the firms with excessive compliance risks and threatening proprietary data.
However, authorities said that the law is designed keeping in mind the threat of cyber attacks and terrorism. They are not framed to put foreign firms at a disadvantage, the Chinese authorities said.
In April, China also announced a law requiring businesses transferring over 1,000 gigabytes of data outside China to undergo yearly security reviews, with blocks on exporting economic, technological and scientific data.
Earlier this week, Apple said it planned to open a new data center in Denmark. An earlier center in the country, announced in 2015, will come online this year.
The new laws arrive in the wake of Chinese cloud firms expanding rapidly in foreign markets. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has 17 data centers across China, the US, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Other foreign firms that oversee cloud businesses, including Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, already have data centers in China.