Apple Opens New Data Center in China to Conform With Cybersecurity Regulations
New laws in China now require companies to store their user’s data within the country’s cyber infrastructure. This has prompted Apple to build its first data center in China to comply with the laws. These strict new cybersecurity laws aim to increase data privacy and security protections after recent threats of cyberattacks and terrorism. Some businesses view the laws as vague, burdening them with compliance risks. Apple, on the other hand, views the restrictive laws as an opportunity to “improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations.” Apple plans to power the data facility entirely with renewable energy. As part of the regulations, Apple will also be partnering with Chinese data management firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co Ltd (GCBD) to offer iCloud. Apple users wishing to purchase additional iCloud storage would do so through GCBD. However, Apple would be retaining the encryption keys for the data and keeping it stored on iCloud separately from GCBD.
Apple revealed in a statement that the new data facility is part of a planned $1 billion investment in the province. Other tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM have already begun partnering with Chinese companies to base their cloud computing services in China, which most likely prompted Apple to invest more in the Chinese market. Apple has complied with many of China’s regulations to further its business in the country, such as shutting down apps like Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies as well as removing news apps created by The New York Times from its app store for Chinese users. According to The New York Times, the iPhone is a symbol of middle-class ambitions in China and is the foundation of Apple’s business in the country. It accounts for 21 percent of the company’s global sales, making China Apple’s most important market after the United States.
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