Apple is beginning to store its Chinese users' data within their country in an attempt to quell privacy concerns from China's government, reports The Wall Street Journal. The change finds Apple beginning to hold iCloud data — which can include information such as documents, photos, and videos — on China Telecom’s servers.
All Chinese data will be held by China Telecom
Apple says that the change will mean that it can "increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China," but the Journal points out that security concerns from China likely played a large role here as well. Particularly following last year's NSA revelations, it's not surprising that China would want to keep Chinese data locally, where there's less of a chance the US government can tap into it.
Of course, there are other concerns that the transfer to China Telecom's server raises. The telecom is a state-owned entity, so China's government now effectively has control over Chinese users' iCloud data. The stored data is all said to be encrypted, however, so theoretically it's stored safely and no one but the individual data owner should have access to it. The Journal reports that China already requires banks and telecoms to store their own data within the country, so Apple beginning to follow suit certainly isn't out of line. The change reportedly began on August 8th and comes after 15 months of testing.