Apple's first data center will be established in China in compliance with laws that require global companies to store information within the country. The data center willl help speed up services like iCloud for local users.
Advertising age reports that the new facility, which will be entirely driven by renewable energy, will be built and run with local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data, Apple said in a messaged statement. Apple aims to migrate Chinese users' information, now stored elsewhere, to the new facility in coming months. The data center is part of a $1 billion investment by the iPhone maker in the province of Guizhou.
According to them the data center was partly driven by new measures that bolster control over the collection and movement of Chinese users' data, and can also grant the government unprecedented access to foreign companies' technology. Forcing companies to store information within the country has already led some to tap cloud computing providers with more local server capacity.
"The addition of this data center will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations," the company said in its statement. "Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems."
The government of Guizhou, which is promoting the impoverished mountainous central province as the country's data center capital, co-founded Apple's partner. This it did with the hope of bringing white-collar jobs to baijiu (the region best known as the home of China's fiery national alcoholic beverage) through the high-tech facilities.
A very important step for Apple's business in the country, which is the tech giant's second-largest market globally, is working more closely with the Chinese government. Last year, after more than seven months of operations, the state Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television shut down Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks service. Apple's market has also decreased as consumers are awaiting an updated iPhone 8, which is anticipated to be released later this year, else they go for android devices that are cheaper.
Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Executive Officer, has been attending forums and opening research centers in China, while also trying to boost the brands reputation there by meeting with local media.