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Apple opens first ever data centre in China to comply with new data laws

Following a change in law, Apple has opened its first data centre in mainland China.

By Ellie Burns

Apple has opened its first iCloud data centre in mainland China, meaning the personal information of iPhone and iPad users in China will be stored locally for the first time ever.

The new facility is in Guizhou and will be jointly operated with a Chinese internet company as part of a $1 billion investment in the Chinese province.

The move to set up a data centre in mainland china came following a change in law about how data is stored in China.

Announced on June 1, the new new cyber security law requires foreign firms to store data within the country.

Apple is the first foreign company to comply with the new laws, an unsurprising move seeing as China is the world’s largest mobile market and increasingly important for iPhone sales.

In a statement about the relocation of Chinese customer’s data from the US, Apple said;

“The addition of this data center will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations,” the company said in its statement.

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“Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems.”

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Many foreign firms have slammed the vague and restrictive new laws over data storage, with Chinese authorities arguing that the regulation was not designed to burden or put foreign firms at an advantage. Instead, the laws were drafted in in response to cyber threats and terrorism.

In April, China also introduced a law which required yearly security reviews of any company transferring over 1,000 gigabytes of data outside China. The law could potentially enforce blocks on the exporting of certain economic, technological or scientific data.

In further plans to expand its data centre footprint, Apple also announced plans to open a facility in Denmark. A centre previously announced in 2015 will be fully operational this year.

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