August 15, 2014 - 14:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - In its latest effort to dispel security concerns raised by China, Apple has begun storing its users’ data in China on state-controlled China Telecom’s Internet-based storage, The Wall Street Journal reports.
But the company said Friday in a statement to the Journal that all data stored is encrypted, meaning China Telecom won’t have access to its content.
“Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously. We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China,” it said.
On a statement posted on the Fuzhou city government’s website, China Telecom confirmed that Apple began storing user’s iCloud data on China Telecom’s platform on Aug 8.
“After 15 months of stringent tests and evaluation… China Telecom has become Apple’s only cloud service provider in China,” a China Telecom’s unit said in the statement, according to the Journal.
Apple’s iCloud is an Internet-based storage service used to back up data on all of its devices including iPhones and iPad. The service lets users access their music, photos, documents and more from whatever Apple device they are on.
Apple declined to comment on whether the deal with China Telecom was to dispel security concerns of the Chinese government.
Apple’s collaboration with China Telecom comes after in July state-run China Central Television claimed the iPhone poses a “national security concern” because of a feature that learns the locations of places a user visits most frequently. In response, Apple pointed out that users must switch on that feature themselves and the company doesn’t keep track of the location.
Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said the deal with China Telecom would alleviate the Chinese government’s concerns about potential leak of user information.
“China always requires Chinese banks and local telecom operators to store their user data in the country for the purpose of national security. Apple storing its iCloud data in China would help to provide a better user experience as direct connection to the local server would allow faster and more stable access to iCloud services,” said Shen.
China has been an attractive but challenging market for U.S. technology companies, especially when commercial and political tensions are escalating between the U.S. and China over cybersecurity concerns, the Journal says.
Last month, Chinese investigators raided Microsoft’s offices in four Chinese cities as part of an anti-monopoly investigation. Qualcomm, a major supplier of cellphone chips, also has been under investigation since November over how it calculates patent-licensing and royalty rates in China and other issues.