China Telecom has struck a deal with Apple’s Chinese partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a government-run data centre to provide data storage services to local iCloud users in China.
The deal could be one of the largest storage projects of cloud computing, according to China’s YNET news website, citing industry insiders.
Apple’s movement of the data from its own U.S.-based servers to local servers on Chinese soil has raised significant concern among observers who worry that the change will grant the Chinese government easier access to sensitive information. Before a switch announced in January, all encryption keys for Chinese users were stored in the U.S., which meant authorities needed to go through the U.S. legal system to request access to information. Now the situation is based on Chinese courts and a gatekeeper that’s owned by the government.
The Apple’s data center in China is expected to be operational by early 2020, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data said. During the transition, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data will cooperate with three major domestic operators to service for Apple iCloud by renting cloud.
China Telecom said it would provide high-quality network and data center services, and use its independent development Tianyi Cloud object storage OOS to be used in the following cooperation.
OOS has been upgraded to v6.1 and widely used in more than 20 cities in China. According to China Telecom, OOS v6 can solve some problems in core technologies of network storage, and will create millisecond level experience for iCloud users.