Apple Announces Relocation of Chinese Customers' iCloud Data From U.S. to Mainland China

Wednesday January 10, 2018 2:47 AM PST by Tim Hardwick

Apple today confirmed that its iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month (via People's Daily, China). The firm, called Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China, and will manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year.

Apple said customers based in the country had been contacted and advised to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers.



Apple originally announced in July its intention to set up its first China data center in partnership with a local internet services company. The operational change was agreed between Apple and the Chinese government, bringing the tech giant into compliance with the country's cloud computing regulations, introduced in June 2017.

The cybersecurity law requires foreign firms to store data within the country. Other tech firms with data centers in China include Microsoft and Amazon, which will also need to comply with the new rules.

Apple said the partnership with GCBD would also allow it to improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services products, but assured customers that no backdoors had been created into any of its systems. However, critics claim the move will make it easier for Beijing to spy on users in the country. Last year, Apple was accused of kowtowing to state demands that it remove virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in mainland China.

Shortly after, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple "would rather not remove apps", but like it does in other countries, "we follow the law where we do business". Cook also said he hoped China would ease up on the restrictions over time.

In Wednesday's announcement, Apple said customer iCloud data will be transferred from February 28, and customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD had been given the option to terminate their account.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, iCloud

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
29 months ago
Good grief.

Where's all your "courage" now Apple? :rolleyes:

They make some grandiose stand against the U.S. government not to unlock terrorist devices where Americans are killed... yet easily get in bed with the oppressive Chinese government so they can continue to do business and rack up profits there.

Here's hoping the data center in China doesn't find some backdoor into the iCloud centers in other countries...
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Cook & co only take heroic stands when there are no consequences. Here we see how fast they fold like a used tissue.
[doublepost=1515586987][/doublepost]I wonder how many of the people posting that Apple is 'only following the law' hold the same view when it comes to, say, immigration laws of Western nations.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

Good grief.

Where's all your "courage" now Apple? :rolleyes:

They make some grandiose stand against the U.S. government not to unlock terrorist devices where Americans are killed... yet blah blah blah blah....

Oh please. :rolleyes:

Having servers for Chinese customers remain in the USA makes about as much sense as Apple storing the servers for US customers in Moscow. Or like keeping the servers of Israeli customers inside Saudi Arabia.

Sorry, but Apple makes logical sense here (they are merely compartmentalizing their global services) even if you disagree with it politically.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Here's hoping that they will move European client's data to European servers soon!

Maybe that help slightly to keep the US's grubby hands out of our data! ;P
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
What's more shocking is the Chinese government is probably less intrusive than our own.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

So someone who uses iCloud in say, the UK, has their data stored on servers in the US? I just assumed Apple had data servers in many different countries/regions.

Gimme a break! You know damn well the only reason Apple opened this data centre in China was to appease the Chinese government, and the reason the Chinese government wants servers on their land is to snoop on/control them. The Communist Chinese party is a repressive regime and in no way comparable to any Western nation I know of despite any flaws or failings in the latter. Cook & co like to puff out their chest and appear like brave freedom fighters whenever there are no actual consequences for doing so, but buckle immediately when faced with true evil.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...