Ap­ple to build $1b Guizhou site for cloud data

Tech be­he­moth’s first such fa­cil­ity in China comes as it ramps up spend­ing to out­com­pete lo­cal ri­vals

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By MA SI in Bei­jing and YANG JUN in Guiyang, Guizhou masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ap­ple Inc will in­vest $1 bil­lion to build its first China data cen­ter in Guizhou prov­ince, in a move to meet lo­cal con­sumers’ grow­ing de­mand for bet­ter cloud ser­vices.

The move is part of a deal Ap­ple signed with the Guizhou pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day and came as the US tech gi­ant in­ten­si­fies re­sources to com­pete with lo­cal ri­vals.

The new data cen­ter will be lo­cated in Guian New Area, Guiyang. It will be op­er­ated by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data In­dus­try Co Ltd, a com­pany owned by the Guizhou pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment. The com­pany will be the sole op­er­at­ing part­ner of Ap­ple’s iCloud ser­vice in the Chi­nese main­land.

Ap­ple will reg­is­ter a busi­ness in Guiyang to help build the data cen­ter and of­fer tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port, the Guizhou pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment said.

Ap­ple said that Chi­nese cus­tomers like us­ing iCloud to store their pho­tos, videos, doc­u­ments and apps, and to keep them up­dated across all of their de­vices.

“The ad­di­tion of this data cen­ter will al­low us to im­prove the speed and re­li­a­bil­ity of our prod­ucts and ser­vices,” Ap­ple said.

The com­pany main­tained that it has strong data pri­vacy and se­cu­rity pro­tec­tion mea­sures in place, and no back­doors will be cre­ated in any of its sys­tems.

James Yan, re­search di­rec­tor at Coun­ter­point Tech­nol­ogy Mar­ket Re­search, said Guizhou has in­vested heav­ily in de­vel­op­ing the big data in­dus­try, mak­ing it a good choice for Ap­ple.

“Set­ting up its own data cen­ter in China will also help the US com­pany bet­ter man­age con­sumers’ data, an­a­lyze their be­hav­iors and im­prove its ser­vices,” Yan said.

The deal marks Ap­ple’s lat­est push to ramp up in­vest­ments in China where it is los­ing ground to lo­cal com­peti­tors such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd.

Ap­ple said in March that it would build two more re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters in Shang­hai and Suzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, as part of its broad ef­forts to tap into the coun­try’s tal­ent pool in man­u­fac­tur­ing, de­sign and app de­vel­op­ment.

It plans to in­vest 3.5 bil­lion yuan ($508 mil­lion) in these R&D cen­ters, in­clud­ing the al­ready planned Bei­jing and Shen­zhen cen­ters.

Ap­ple’s China rev­enue fell 14.1 per­cent to $10.73 bil­lion in its sec­ond fis­cal quar­ter. But Yan, from Coun­ter­point, said the up­com­ing 10th an­niver­sary edi­tion of the iPhone will reignite Chi­nese con­sumers’ en­thu­si­asm.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A boy plays with an Ap­ple de­vice at an out­let of Ap­ple Inc in Tian­jin.

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