GCBD To Operate Apple's iCloud in China

GCBD To Operate Apple's iCloud in China

Apple has announced that iCloud services in China - including data storage - will be managed by a local government-owned company starting late next month.

Apple will start informing its Chinese iCloud users from today, with data transferred and uploaded to the new database automatically.

"Have you often experienced slow access speed and freezes when you sync your iPhone photos, videos, documents and apps to iCloud?" it wrote on its official Weibo account. First spotted by 9to5Mac, this move doesn't seem all that surprising because it's been known since past year that Apple announced a partnership with a local firm, but we didn't know exactly when the iPhone maker was planning to move iCloud operations. The Communist Party mouthpiece also said Apple was to begin sending notifications of the change to users Wednesday. "Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems".

The Chinese iCloud operations will be formally outsourced by Apple to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data on February 28th.

The changes will be made in line with the new Chinese law stipulating that business information and data about the country's Chinese citizens gathered within China should be stored on domestic servers and not transferred overseas without permission.

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However, some on social media have said the step gives Beijing more opportunity to monitor its citizens and others living in the country.

If you aren't happy with the move, you are given a choice to entirely close your iCloud account before the February 28th deadline. Apple sought to secure a 30% commission on app updates through the Apple Store, rather than allow domestic software developers to have the freedom to update them in the background.

Both moves - the VPN removal and the new iCloud agreement - brought about a large wave of protest against Apple, both in China and in the United States. The company warned users that the terms and conditions of using iCloud in China will change, and has made it possible for them to delete their accounts instead of going through with the hand over.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook defended the action at the time, saying he would "rather not" be doing it, adding he hoped the restrictions would be "lessened" over time.

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