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Apple announced on Wednesday plans to open its first data center in China, in partnership with a local internet services company to comply with tough new cyber-security laws introduced last month, Reuters reported.
The center is slated to be built in the southern province of Guizhou, in collaboration with data management company Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry. Co. Ltd (GCBD).
A spokesperson for Apple in Shanghai told Reuters that the center is part of a planned 1 billion US dollar investment in the province.
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,” Apple said in a statement.
“These regulations require cloud services to be operated by Chinese companies so we’re partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud,” the statement said, referring to Apple’s online data storage service.
The move makes Apple the first foreign firm to announce amendments to its data storage for China following the introduction of the country’s new cyber-security law on June 1.
While some overseas businesses have said the law’s strict data surveillance and storage requirements are vague, authorities say the law is not designed to put foreign firms at a disadvantage and was drafted in response to the threat of cyberattacks and terrorism.
The new laws come as Chinese cloud companies are expanding rapidly into foreign markets.
Alibaba has 17 data centers across China, the US, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Other foreign firms that oversee cloud services, including Amazon and Microsoft, already have data centers in China.