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Apple to build its first data center in China

The tech giant is working with a local cloud company to make sure that a planned data center complies with China's new cybersecurity laws.

Apple shop in Sanlitun is a flagship store in Beijing.

Apple is finding new ways to expand its efforts in China.

Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple has found its solution for dealing with tougher cybersecurity laws in China.

The iPhone maker is building its first data center in the country to meet new cybersecurity laws that took effect in June, Reuters reported Wednesday. The laws require foreign companies to store data locally.

To comply, Apple is collaborating with a local data management company called Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), which said in a statement that the two companies will provide Chinese users a "faster and more reliable iCloud experience." The facility will be built in the southern province of Guizhou.

"The addition of this data center will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations," an Apple representative told Reuters. "These regulations require cloud service be operated by Chinese companies so we're partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud."

Apple made a similar move in 2014 when it started keeping data of some Chinese users on local servers belonging to China Telecom. 

Apple is treading Chinese waters carefully to avoid problems. Last year, China shut down Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks services less than a year after operations began there. 

Reuters noted in its report that Amazon and Microsoft have also set up data centers in China.

While Apple's move could spark to privacy concerns, the company said it has "strong data privacy and security protections in place" and won't create backdoors into "any of [its] systems."

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for a comment.

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