Apple's iCloud in China to be run by local company

Apple's iCloud in China to be run by local company

Other major technology companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, have also made similar deals to run data centers in China.

In a bid to comply with the China's cloud computing regulations, Apple has granted permission to local company Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD) to operate Apple iCloud services on the territory of mainland China.

This means that customers who live within mainland China will see the physical storage location of their data change from March although it should go unnoticed in terms of available iCloud features and functionality.

"With effect from 28 February 2018, iCloud services associated with your Apple ID will be operated by GCBD", the email reads.

Guizhou is one of the least developed regions in China.

Apple Inc. said it will turn over its cloud operations in China to a state-owned local partner February 28, complying with Chinese law mandating that customer data collected on the mainland be stored here. Apple has also bent to other Chinese laws and received criticism for removing hundreds of virtual private network apps from the App Store past year.

That creates logistical issues for foreign companies as well as issues regarding user privacy and surveillance. Apple announced the partnership with GCBD past year and claims the new iCloud operations will help the company comply with Chinese regulations. In Apple's message sent to mainland Chinese customers, the company says the new operations setup will "enable us to continue improving the speed and reliability of iCloud and to comply with Chinese regulations".

"Because of our commitment to transparency, there will be a series of customer communications over the course of the next seven weeks to make sure customers are well informed of the coming changes". Apple reassured users that the data will be protected by the same encryption standards as its current United States policies and that no special backdoors will be created.

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