Xiaomi To Move International User Data Out Of China

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Xiaomi prepares for international expansion by trying to ease privacy concerns

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is to move its International customers user’s data from servers in Beijing to Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres in the US and Singapore.

The firm has come under fire for automatically sending personal information, including phone, SIM and contact information to Chinese data centres without user consent, leading to privacy and security concerns from a number of organisations, most notably the Indian Air Force and the Taiwanese government.

Xiaomi said the issue was caused by the default behaviour of the MIUI cloud messaging service and fixed the problem in a software update, but it has now moved to ease such fears as the company looks to expand in new markets.

Xiaomi cloud data

Hugo-Barra google leadHugo Barra, who joined the company from Google last year, says the migration of its non-Chinese customers data to AWS server started earlier this year in a bid to improve speeds, but he admitted it would allow the firm to comply with local data regulations and maintain “high privacy standards.”

“User experience is hugely important to us,” he said in a Google+ post. “As a global Internet company, we really care about speed and we’re also fully committed to storing our users’ data securely at all times.

E-commerce data has already been moved to AWS data centres in California and Singapore, while MIUI services and data, including Mi Account, Cloud messaging and MiCloud services, will be moved to locations in Oregon and Singapore by the end of the year.

In locations where AWS services aren’t yet available, Xiaomi will partner with local providers to set up service infrastructure so customers are closer to their data and can enjoy faster speeds.

“This is a very high priority for Xiaomi as we expand into new markets over the next few years,” added Barra.

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