- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Apple on Wednesday said the company is opening its first data center in China so it may comply with new cybersecurity rules targeting foreign tech firms.

The California-headquartered tech giant will build the data center in the southern province of Guizhou as part of a regional investment valued at $1 billion, an Apple spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday.

Cybersecurity regulations implemented June 1 require foreign companies that handle Chinese data to store that information on equipment physically located within the country.

In Apple’s case, the company said it’s working with a Chinese tech firm, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co Ltd (GCBD), in order to provide it’s iCloud remote storage service to local customers in compliance with the law.

“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.

“These regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies so we’re partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud.”

While China maintains one of the modernized world’s most repressive systems of online censorship, Apple said it will keep “strong data privacy and security protections in place” and reject any efforts aimed at making the company install so-called “backdoors” giving the government access to customers’ data.

Apple is the first foreign company to announce steps aimed at adhering to China’s new regulations since it’s implementation last month, though Amazon and Microsoft opened data centers there prior to the legislation, Reuters reported.

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