Thursday, October 19, 2017

China’s gov’t sets up work group to get Apple’s $1bn data centre off the ground

Facility has been designed to not only push Apple’s products in the country as well as abide by the strict data privacy and protection laws.

The Chinese government has announced the setting up of a “leading small group” tasked with working closely with Apple as the company prepares to invest $1bn in a new data centre.

The working group now set up by authorities in the Guizhou province where the data centre is set to be built, will be headed by Qin Rupei, Executive Vice Governor of Guizhou and Member of the Standing Committee of the Guizhou CPC Provincial Committee.

In a statement, the government said the group has been put together “to speed up the construction of Apple’s iCloud project”.

It continues: “The provincial government has decided to form a development and coordination working committee to quicken the setting up of Apple’s iCloud project.”

In addition, the group will also be expected to raise questions and make suggestions posed and made during group meetings.

It will also work on the preparatory, organisational and conference information for those same group meetings.

“In principle, every month and a half [the group will] convene and urge the members to actively promote the implementation of the work,” it reads in the document.

Apple announced it would build the IT facility in July 2017 as the company tries to expand its services in China.

The data centre will also be used to abide by China’s new cybersecurity laws which require 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.

The data centre comes at a time when Apple’s revenues in Greater China have dropped from $8.8bn in Q3 2016 to $8bn in Q3 2017, according to the company’s latest results released on August 1.

Compared to Q2 2017, the revenue drop was even deeper from $10.7bn.

When combining all regions, the company’s revenues for Q3 2017 hit $45.4bn, up from $42.36bn in Q3 2016, however, down from $52.89bn in Q2 2017.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said: “With revenue up 7% year-over-year, we are happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue.”