Apple sets up China data centre to meet new cyber-security rules

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Reuters reported that the move makes Apple the first firm to announce changes to its data storage plans to fall in line with these laws - although other companies, including Amazon, already have data centres in the country. The iPhone maker partners with a local internet services company to set up the office as part of its US$1 billion investment in the country.

The centre will be built in partnership with local data management firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry to comply with new cybersecurity regulations introduced last month.

In a statement, the company said the new facility allows them to comply with regulations and improve quality of service in the country.

Announced in November 2016, the China National People's Congress revised law requires that any organisation defined as having "critical information infrastructure" must securely store and manage all personal data collected from Chinese citizens within the borders of China.

Lisa Jackson, vice president of Apple, stated during today's press conference that the data centre, as well as the new cooperation, is expected to improve Chinese iCloud users' experience through a reduction in latency and improved reliability.

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China says this is not true and the laws are meant to counter terrorism attacks.

Apple said that the company has an extreme data privacy and security protections in place and there will be no backdoors in the new data center systems.

Meanwhile, Apple is still waiting to hear whether it can move ahead with plans to open a $850m data centre in Galway, Ireland.

U.S. tech firms have traditionally processed all customer data - regardless of origin - in US-based centres, so will be forced to invest substantially to meet the new requirements.

Citing authorities, Reuters reported that the law "is not created to put foreign firms at a disadvantage" as the Chinese government is only taking the necessary steps to strengthen the country's protection from cyber security attacks and terrorism. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) has 17 data centres across China, the United States, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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