Apple Inc's iCloud services in China will be operated by a domestic firm from next month in response to consumer complaints over the slow speed and loss of data, the company said yesterday.
The move also helps Apple to better comply with Chinese cyber security laws on data privacy, which require all foreign companies to store data of Chinese users domestically, according to analysts.
The iCloud service will be operated by Guizhou Cloud Big Data, a government-backed firm based in Guizhou Province in south China. iCloud data will be transferred from 28 February. However, iCloud accounts registered outside China are not affected, according to Apple.
"It's a natural move for Apple to be more localized in China, as many foreign Internet firms do," said Jia Mo, analyst at research firm Canalys. "Chinese operators are expected to offer better services for local consumers."
It is hoped that the move will "improve the speed and reliability" of iCloud services while also "complying with newly passed regulations," Apple said.
Consumers complained that the iCloud, which allows iPhone and iPad users to store and synchronize pictures, videos, and documents online, has caused them to lose data, is hard to access and suffers slow upload speed.
Apple China offers them limited technical support as its iCloud team is based outside the mainland, Shanghai Daily learned.
Apple previously said that it would invest US billion in Guizhou to build the data center and to set up new research hubs in Shanghai and Suzhou.
Amazon and Microsoft also plan to transfer data hubs in China to local partners.