Apple from February 28 will provide a public company from China with access to data of Chinese users of cloud service iCloud. About a possible partnership became known in 2017, but Apple confirmed the information only now.
Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) is located in Guizhou Province, its founders are local authorities. There is also a data center, which Apple opened in July 2017.
Apple went to open access to iCloud to fulfill China’s law on cloud services. According to local regulations, the data of Chinese users should be stored on the territory of China. For accounts that are registered outside of China, the rules do not apply.
Chinese users of iCloud have been asked to close the account before it goes under the control of GCBD. Nevertheless, Apple said that the innovation will “improve the speed and reliability” of the service.
Apple has a system of reliable data protection and security, so that no backdoors will be created.
As 9to5mac notes with reference to Apple’s critics, moving iCloud to China will simplify the process of tracking down users of the company’s devices. The Verge also pointed to a possible tightening of regulation by the authorities.
Apple has long been cooperating with the Chinese authorities. The company removed VPN services from the Chinese App Store (July 2017) and Skype(November 2017) to implement local laws.