Apple to set up office in China amid new cyber security law

Apple builds a data centre in China in compliance with the new cybersecurity law of the country enacted last month.

Apple Inc is building an offshore office in China following the new cybersecurity law of the country enacted last month. 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.

Apple confirmed on Wednesday that the company is setting up its first data centre in China in conformity to China's tougher cybersecurity rules legislated in June. The Cupertino firm is reportedly working with a local internet services provider to establish the said office in the southern province of Guizhou.

According to Reuters, Apple has sealed a partnership with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co Ltd (GCBD) in establishing its data centre in the country, which is part of the US$1 billion investment in Guizhou of the American firm. In a statement to the publication, Apple said the office in Chinese territories will allow them to enhance the speed and reliability of their products and services "while also complying with newly passed regulations".

The GCBD will be responsible for Apple's online data storage service in compliance with the Chinese law, stipulating that all cloud services of foreign companies shall be handled by their native firms within the country. Apple is first to announce such partnership and more companies are expected to follow suit.

Citing authorities, Reuters reported that the law "is not designed 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.

Apple, meanwhile, is confident of its data privacy and security protections, saying, "No backdoors will be created into any of our systems." Earlier in the week, Apple revealed that it has been planning to put up a new data centre in Denmark.

Meanwhile, China has been progressive with its cyber security laws since the past few months. In April, it legislated a bill requiring companies transmitting over 1,000 gigabytes of data outside the country to go through security checks. This is in line with the more Chinese cloud firms, like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, are expanding in foreign markets.