August 14, 2017 / 2:13 PM / 2 months ago

China's Guizhou province to oversee Apple's data project

A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China’s Guizhou province, where Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has set up its first data center in the country, plans to create a working committee chaired by communist party members to oversee the U.S. company’s iCloud facility.

China has started to police the Internet more closely and introduced a new cyber security law on June 1 that imposes tougher controls over data than in Europe and the United States, including mandating that companies store all data within China and pass security reviews.

The Guizhou government said on its website (www.gzgov.gov.cn) that the Apple iCloud working committee would be made up of around 10 members, such as Guizhou’s Executive Vice Governor Qin Rupei, Deputy Secretary-general Ma Ningyu and other officials.

“The provincial government has decided to form a development and coordination working committee to quicken the setting up of Apple’s iCloud project,” it said in a Chinese language statement.

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, Apple said it had set up its first data center in China, in the southern province of Guizhou, in partnership with a local internet services company, to comply with tougher cyber security laws. The data center forms part of Apple’s planned $1 billion investment in the province.

China is a key market for Apple, though the U.S. tech group has come under pressure from Chinese regulators in recent months to comply with strict local data laws and assist in curtailing access to overseas content.

In late July, Apple said it was removing virtual private network (VPN) services from its app store in China, a move that drew criticism from VPN service providers, who accuse the U.S. company of bowing to pressure from Chinese cyber regulators.

Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore and Cate Cadell in Beijing. Editing by Jane Merriman

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