January 11, 2018

Apple hands over iCloud operations in China to local firm

Apple will retain its hold on iCloud’s technology and support but keep data and operations in the hands of the Chinese firm.

Tech giant Apple has announced that Chinese local company Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD) as custodians of iCloud operations in China. According to the deal, Apple will only retain the tech support in China and keep data within the confines of the Chinese border.

According to Apple, the terms and conditions for their customer base will be revised as a result of the deal and users will now comply with the revised versions. In a statement they said:

Use of these services and all the data stored with iCloud — including photos, videos, documents, and backups — will be subject to the Terms and Conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD.

Industry experts say this move is a result of stringent Chinese regulations that are limiting expansion plans of foreign players. They further claim that in a bid to look at strategies rather differently, Apple had built a data center costing about USD 1 billion in the region of Guizhou itself.

According to analysts, this move is likely to please authorities in Beijing who were looking to access Apple’s software presence in China for months. They also added that with this move, Apple will fall in line with China’s media policy.

It looks like Chinese authorities are in no mood to relax regulatory norms for businesses trying to expand into their markets. With big guns like Amazon, IBM and Microsoft complying with Chinese regulations, it looks like authorities in China are most likely to have things their way.

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