Apple announced in August that it has begun hosting the data of its Chinese users in a state-controlled China Telecom colocation data center.
The China Telecom facility, located in Fuzhou, is Apple’s only colocation data center in the country. The goal of the partnership between Apple and China Telecom is to relieve issues of slow iCloud connectivity being experienced by users in the country. Working together with China Telecom allows Apple to ensure high performance of the data servers that host the iCloud? service.
This may help to ease concerns from the Chinese government of potential leaks of user data from private servers, since recently, the use of the Windows 8 operating system was banned in China, purportedly because it sends information to Microsoft’s cloud servers in the U.S.
While Apple is willing to partner with the Chinese government, many other tech giants have balked at the idea. In 2010, Google publicly argued with China over the country’s censorship of the results from its search engines, which eventually led to Google moving its servers to Hong Kong. In an attempt to protect its users from the prying eyes of the state, Apple has said all of the data it stores in the China data center will be encrypted and the decryption keys for that information will be kept offshore.