Apple opens US$1bn data center in China to comply with tightened laws

Apple announced on Wednesday that it would open its first data center in the Guizhou province in China, its opening date yet to be set.

The new data center is a part of a $1 billion investment in the province, and iCloud will be operated from an Apple plant run by a China-based data management company, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data, to comply with a new Chinese law, which requires data-storage providers to keep the information of Chinese customers on computers located within the country.

It means Apple will manage the sales of its services within the country, as well as handle legal requests for data from the government in China. Also, for any Apple's Chinese customers who want to buy additional iCloud storage, they will have to do so through Apple’s Chinese partner in the future.

Currently, Apple already stores some of its Chinese customers' data on local servers, but the new announcement goes further by letting a Chinese partner be responsible for running the company's data center.

The tech giant said in a statement that the new center would keep “strong data privacy and security protections in place", and that "no back doors would be created" in its systems.

"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," it added.