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

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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 on Wednesday announced its decision to relocate Chinese mainland customers' iCloud data from the U.S. to China, promising that the relocation will not compromise users' information security pic.twitter.com/AYIvFNnMUF - People's Daily,China (@PDChina) January 10, 2018

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.

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

Hal~9000

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Sep 13, 2014
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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...
 
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Solomani

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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.
 

x0vash0x

macrumors regular
Dec 1, 2014
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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 all in the name of profits.

Here's hoping they data center in China doesn't find some backdoor into iCloud centers in other countries.
Because different countries have different laws. Plus, Apple outsources all of this to their legal team.

A trained team in our legal department reviews and evaluates all requests received, and requests which Apple determines to have no valid legal basis or considers to be unclear, inappropriate or over-broad are challenged or rejected.
Apple literally just follows laws. Businesses are amoral.
 

Adam Warlock

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Jun 22, 2016
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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.
 

Rogifan

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Cook & co only take heroic stands when there are no consequences. Here we see how fast they fold like a used tissue.
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.
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.
 

Solomani

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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
I agree. As it should be. The US and Europe don't always see eye to eye when it comes to national security and privacy. So to address that: Apple's American servers for Americans should remain in America, and its servers for Europeans should be kept/relocated to Europe where it is closely monitored and regulated under European rule of law.

That's all I'm saying all along as far as this Chinese server thing goes. Apple is compartmentalizing its global services. It's just a logical thing to do, if they haven't done so already, as far as a multinational corporation goes.
 
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LovingTeddy

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Simple. If some company wants to do business in China, follow the law. If you dislike the law, the leave.

If you don't offer the product to Chinese consumer, some other company will.

I remember some Apple fans will say it is OK, because profit and shareholder's return Trump's everything in captialist America.
 
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Adam Warlock

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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.
 

rikscha

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Mar 8, 2010
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Nothing wrong with moving the data into the country but China always requires to have everything managed by a Chinese 3rd party and that’s something the rest of the world should oppose.

Over time they take over completely and fudge you in the back. There are thousands of small/medium sized businesses who actually have been kicked out completely out of the country after their IP was stolen. Action taken? None - all after the short term gains in China but in 1 or 2 decades all this business is gone
 

vooke

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Jul 14, 2014
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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...
Everyone is entitled to exploit the democratic space they have as much as possible.
Even the US itself knows when to respect other countries’ laws for the sake of its own interest. Think about Saudi Arabia
 

H3LL5P4WN

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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.
If I were Chinese, I'd be looking for a new service. For me, having the servers in the US would have been a selling point since my gubment wouldn't have been able to get into them. And since all Chinese firms are controlled by the Chinese government, there goes any semblance of privacy from the standpoint of the Apple ecosystem in China.
 
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iZac

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My question is what they constitute a Chinese customer ... only if your Apple ID Country is set to China? Or even if you’re sending messages from a Chinese phone number and geolocated in the Mainland but use another region? what about if you change regions? Will that shift your data? I’m a bit concerned.
 
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Hal~9000

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Sep 13, 2014
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Everyone is entitled to exploit the democratic space they have as much as possible.
Even the US itself knows when to respect other countries’ laws for the sake of its own interest. Think about Saudi Arabia
My issue though is when Apple (and Cook) tries to paint themselves like they're some beacon of morality and how they will fight for the rights of people against oppressive governments... only to fold like a deck of cards when they are put to the test simply for greater profits :rolleyes:

To me that's about as slimy and two-faced as a company that's willing to silently sabotage consumers devices via artificial software throttling without telling anyo... oh wait :p
 
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Solomani

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If I were Chinese, I'd be looking for a new service…..
That's your problem. You're not Chinese.

And most American companies that "think American" have failed 100% in China. Like Uber.

Fact: Chinese consumers increasingly prefer "native" corporations, or at least prefer foreign companies that have adopted to their Chinese customs. That's why (native) Didi rideshare service completely destroyed the Uber competition in China. Got it?
 

Patrick J

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My question is what they constitute a Chinese customer ... if your Apple ID Country is set to China or even If you’re currently sending messages from a Chinese phone number and geolocated in the Mainland but use another region? what about if you change regions? Will that shift your data? I’m a bit concerned.
Does anybody have any official statement or guidance from Apple regarding this question?
 

H3LL5P4WN

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Jun 19, 2010
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That's your problem. You're not Chinese.

And most American companies that "think American" have failed 100% in China. Like Uber.

Fact: Chinese consumers increasingly prefer "native" corporations, or at least prefer foreign companies that have adopted to their Chinese customs. That's why (native) Didi rideshare service completely destroyed the Uber competition in China. Got it?
Uber isn't a good comparison, because Uber is a terrible company; ask anyone who drives for them.

Fact: Sounds pretty brainwashy to me, chief. I increasingly prefer companies that have strong "security practices" and stand up to totalitarian regimes. That's why Apple (traditionally) was a better choice than Google. Got that?
 
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