Apple’s iCloud accounts in China to be operated by a government-owned company

- Adrian Ungureanu

China is pretty strict and serious when it comes to online data and created all the means to stay in control of the data, so not even a giant as Apple can’t comply with the regulations if it wants to have acces to the largest market in the world.

Apple has confirmed that the local company Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD) will operate iCloud services on the territory of mainland China, so the services will comply with the China’s cloud computing regulations

The Cupertino-based company said that both companies will have access to the data stored on the cloud servers. GCBD is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China. So practically is a state-owned company. Apple invested in Guizhou $1bn last year in a data centre to meet local regulations, which require foreign companies to have their data related to Chinese operations in the country.

Apple confirmed that all relevant iCloud data will be transferred starting 28 February. Customers living in mainland China who do not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD are given the option to terminate their iCloud accounts.

Apple even started informing the users by sending out the following message to iCloud users in mainland China:

“With effect from 28 February 2018, iCloud services associated with your Apple ID will be operated by GCBD. Use of the services and all the data you store with iCloud—including photos, videos, documents and backups—will be subject to the Terms and Conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD. Your iCloud service will not be affected by this change.”

However, many people online are sharing concerns over possible monitoring of user data and interactions by the Chinese government.

The best example of how serious China is when it comes to internet policies, is the censorship of Facebook. The social network was blocked in China following the July 2009 Ürümqi riots because Xinjiang independence activists were using Facebook as part of their communications network.

Only other two countries in the world have blocked the famous social network, Iran and North Korea, and that says a lot.