Saturday, November 25, 2017

Apple to open China data centre in $1bn investment

American multinational first foreign entity to erect infrastructure on Chinese soil as the country’s new cybersecurity laws come into force.

Apple is to open a data centre in China to support its services locally and abide by the country’s latest cybersecurity laws.

The facility will be built in the province of Guizhou in partnership with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GCBD), a Chinese data management company.

Apple said in a statement: “The addition of this data centre will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations.

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

A Shanghai-based Apple spokesman told Reuters the renewable energy powered data centre is part of an overall $1bn investment into Guizhou.

China has introduced on June 1, tighter regulations on how citizens’ data is handled by services providers.

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.

Penalties for non-compliance range from financial fines to operational suspension and criminal liability.

Apple said it plans to move all Chinese citizens’ data from data centres elsewhere, to the data centre in Guizhou in the coming months.

“No backdoors will be created into any of our systems,” Apple continued in the released statement.


Apple data centre moves

The Chinese data centre comes days after Apple announced plans to build a second $920m data centre in Denmark. The first building, announced in 2015, is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the company is still awaiting a final decision from Irish authorities on its €850m data centre projected for Galway.

The facility, announced in February 2015, has faced since then objection from a small number of citizens which took the case to the Commercial Court in Dublin.

Following Apple’s announcement on the Danish data centre, in Ireland, many voiced their disappointment with the country’s delay on deciding on Apple’s project.

The president of the Galway Chamber has joined others in expressing his concern over the delays to the construction of the data centre.

Maurice O’Gorman said he is concerned about the possible impact the delay could have for the region, and that the development would be a significant boost to the local economy, also becoming a magnetic to similar initiatives in the future.

A final decision is expected to be announced on July 27, 2017, in Dublin.