Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Apple Transferring Chinese iCloud Operations To Local Firm Next Month

Apple Transferring Chinese iCloud Operations To Local Firm Next Month

Apple has partnered with the Guizhou-Cloud Big Data firm for this project.

Cupertino announced the billion-dollar joint data centre last July. "Use of these services and all the data stored with iCloud - including photos, videos, documents and backups - will be subject to the Terms and Conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD", Apple said in a statement.

That followed Apple's announcement in July previous year of a partnership with GCBD to establish its first data centre in China, which forms part of the United States technology company's US$1 billion investment programme in Guizhou. Apple announced the partnership with GCBD past year and claims the new iCloud operations will help the company comply with Chinese regulations.

Apple also said that it, "has strong data-privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems".

Nevertheless, some remain concerned that moving the operations locally will potentially make it easier for the government to eavesdrop on Apple users in the country.

Users affected by the change can either keep using iCloud or deactivate it. Users with overseas accounts will not be affected, Apple said.

Apple started informing its Chinese iCloud users from Wednesday, with data transferred and uploaded to the new database automatically.

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The move comes after United bosses were left fuming when the Spanish club announced it would be charging fans travelling to Sevilla nearly £90 to watch the last 16 clash next month.

This move also relocates Chinese customers' iCloud data from the U.S. to China.

Apple has announced it will hand over iCloud operations in China to government-owned local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GBCD) on February 28.

Non-Chinese users whose iCloud accounts are registered in mainland China but who aren't living in the country have another option.

In August 2017, Apple were heavily criticised by Beijing for threatening to remove applications by leading Chinese tech company Tencent, including the WhatsApp-like mobile messenger WeChat.

ICloud users are anxious their photos, documents and other data could be handed over to authorities.

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

Apple chief executive Tim Cook defended the action at the time, saying he would "rather not" be doing it, adding he hoped the restrictions would be "lessened" over time.

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