Apple users in China may now have an active concern, because the American company has decided to have their iCloud data stored by a state-owned Chinese mobile operator. Though users have an option to opt for whether they want to store their iCloud data stored locally or not, this seems like a time when most people would not want to.
Chinese state-owned mobile operator Tianyi has taken over the handling of the iCloud China with its cloud storage business unit. This news was reported on a WeChat post by the China Telecom and is further says that Tianyi has agreed to a deal with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), the company that had a deal with Apple for the data initially.
Information stored on iCloud typically consists of emails and text messages, which might contain personal or sensitive information. And this move from Apple to move the data from its own US servers to Chinese companies, especially state owned ones is raising an alarm for the users. The Chinese government will now have easy access to all the encryption keys that was hard for it to come by because it had to go through the US legal systems. This means that the government will have easy access to sensitive user information that is only protected by its own courts and a company it owns.
Apple iOS 12 features
This move from Apple was a mandate from the government that put forth a lot of concerns for the Chinese users. And the only respite for the users in China right now, is that they can opt to change their server preference to another country, though it is not clear if that will migrate the data from the Chinese server or leave it there.