Apple hands Chinese iCloud to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry

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The Chinese iCloud operations will be formally outsourced by Apple to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data on February 28th.

In a statement, Apple said, "Last year, we announced that Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD) would become the operator of iCloud in China".

Apple has made the move to obey the Chinese government's policies, which is that Chinese citizens data must be stored within the country.

"There will be a series of customer communications over the course of the next seven weeks to make sure customers are well informed of the coming changes", it said.

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Amazon has also struck partnerships with two Chinese companies to operate its cloud services in the country.

Having domestic control over mainland Chinese iCloud accounts will delight the Beijing authorities, who have been pushing to oversee Apple's software presence in the country for months.

With the move to partner with local firm on dealing with iCloud operations, it means closer ties with the Chinese government and means of more regulation.

Apple's terms & conditions for the transition provide an explanation for the apparent anomaly, while a support document offers a solution ...

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The new terms, which apply only to iCloud accounts registered inside China*, will take effect on February 28, 2018. First spotted by 9to5Mac, this move doesn't seem all that surprising because it's been known since a year ago that Apple announced a partnership with a local firm, but we didn't know exactly when the iPhone maker was planning to move iCloud operations.

In July 2017, Apple removed at least 60 Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers from its China app store after a request from the Chinese government. Apple "has strong data-privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems", it said. Articles stressed the growing supremacy of Chinese technologies, and news websites published articles telling users they might be forced to choose between Apple or Tencent.

For Apple users, iCloud is typically a place to store data such as music, photos and contacts.

Apple has been trying to play nicely with China for a while now, but the back-and-forth between the tech giant and the local government has often resulted in frustrations for Chinese Apple customers.

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