Chinese Database of Apple's iCloud to Be Controlled by State-Run Firm

Apple iCloud

That means that all data - including photos, videos, documents, and other personal information - uploaded by Apple customers in China to their iCloud accounts will be stored in GCBD's database from then on. The new data center enables it to comply with China's new regulations and also improve the speed of Apple's cloud services in the region.

Previously, Chinese customers' iCloud data have been stored in Apple's overseas data centers.

The drastic approach would be to deactivate your iCloud account using a link Apple provides for the goal.

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Founded in 2014, GCBD is a data storage firm owned by the local government of Guizhou province. Late past year, Amazon Inc.'s Amazon Web Services sold sell assets of as much as 2 billion yuan in China to its partner Beijing Sinnet Technology Co.to help Sinnet Technology obtain a cloud services certificate needed to continue operating.

Apple made the move to comply with the country's latest regulations on cloud services. Amazon recently announced it was selling off the hardware infrastructure from its public cloud business to a Chinese partner called Sinnet to comply with the same laws. At the time Apple was quick to point out that "No backdoors will be created into any of our systems".

The Chinese government changed the law previous year, requiring Apple and other companies offering cloud storage to use local companies to store the data.

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Apple flagged the change to customers this week, advising them to read the terms and conditions of an agreement that hands operations of iCloud in mainland China to a company owned by the government of Guizhou province.

However, some on social media have said the step gives Beijing more opportunity to monitor its citizens and others living in the country. Those who aren't happy with the move at least have the option of closing their iCloud accounts.

A message sent from Apple to iCloud users in China. 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.

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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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