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Apple Bows To Chinese Regulators With Guizhou Data Centre

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

The move reportedly comes as part of a $1 billion (£870 million) investment plan for China

Apple has announced that it will build a data centre in the Chinese province of Guizhou in order to comply with strict new data protection regulations.

In June, China introduced the Cyber Security Law (CSL) which states that all personal information on Chinese citizens must be stored within the country, as well as preventing the external transmission of economic, scientific and technological data.

Experts have warned that the law will make it harder for businesses to operate in the country, but Apple appears ready to the government with its first ever China data centre.

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Compliance

The facility will be built in partnership with data management company Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co Ltd, with an Apple spokesman confirming it comes as part of a planned $1 billion (£870 million) investment in the region.

Speaking to Reuters, Apple said: “The addition of this data centre will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations.

“These regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies so we’re partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud.”

The iPhone-maker added that “no backdoors will be created into any of our systems,” as it becomes the first Western company to change its data storage infrastructure in order to comply with the new regulations.

Apple also recently revealed plans to build two more R&D centres in Shanghai and Suzhou as part of a 3.5 billion yuan (£410 million) investment, adding to the two in Beijing and Shenzhen that were announced last year.

China has long been a difficult region for Western business to crack, primarily due to restrictive regulations and extremely tight internet censorship laws commonly referred to as ‘the great firewall of China’. 

Microsoft, for example, has attempted to woo the Chinese government by building a customised version of Windows 10 after finding life in the country difficult.

Quiz: What do you know about China and technology?