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Apple iCloud: China Telecom hosts user data in China
Published on: 2018-07-24
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Apple Transfers Chinese Users iCloud Data to State Run Servers in ChinaICloud data belonging to Apple's China-based users is now in the hands of the Chinese government. The emails, pictures and text messages of users in China are now being managed by a division of the state-owned firm, China Telecom.

Privacy advocates have warned that the shift could make user data vulnerable to state surveillance. Apple says the move to store user data locally was made to comply with Chinese authorities.

052In 2017, Apple announced that it would be partnering with local Chinese firm, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Development [GCBD], in handling operations of iCloud services for users in mainland China. In February this year, it was announced iCloud data of users in China would move to a new data centre in Guizhou province.

Apple said the shift was made so that it could comply with local cybersecurity laws. Apple said: "While we advocated against iCloud being subject to these laws, we were ultimately unsuccessful."

That arrangement has now been complicated by a new agreement between Apple's Chinese iCloud operator and the state-owned company, China Telecom.

051Apple has confirmed that China Telecom's Tianyi Cloud division has signed with GCBD to provide storage for iCloud China.

The change in operation means that the data of iCloud users in China, including emails and photos, is now handled by the state-owned service; a move that has led to concern from privacy advocates anxious that this will give the Chinese government easier access to personal information.

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