Apple has started storing the iCloud data of its users in China on the data centers of the state-owned China Telecom, instead of servers located in the U.S.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, the Cupertino-based company confirmed the decision. “Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously,” it said. “We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China.”
However, Apple pointed out that all stored data is encrypted and inaccessible to China Telecom.
According to the Chinese telecommunications company, Apple began using its data centers to store iCloud data a week ago, on Aug. 8. It added that Apple chose it as the iCloud company’s only data center provider in China after 15 months of “stringent” tests.
Apple’s decision is believed to have been made in response to security concerns recently publicized by the Chinese government.
Last month, the state-run China Central Television reported that Apple’s location-tracking function in iOS was a “national security concern” and cited researchers who said the feature could help expose China’s “state secrets.” But Apple was quick to respond with a message on its website denying the allegations and reiterating that it’s “deeply committed” to protecting the privacy of its customers.