With Apple set to build a data center in China’s Guizhou province after strict new data residency laws meant that the company has to store Chinese citizens’ iCloud data in the country, the local government plans to set up a committee to help them do it.

Originally spotted by Reuters, the Guizhou government said on its website 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.

Security matters

Tim Cook and the Apple logo
– Flickr/Mike Deerkoski

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

The controversial cybersecurity laws mandated that, in addition to having to store user data within the country, businesses transferring over 1,000 gigabytes of data outside of the country will have to undergo yearly security reviews, in language that has been criticized as overly vague and a threat to proprietary data.

Apple explicitly said that its new data center was a response to this regulation. Last month the company said in a statement: “These regulations require cloud services be operated by Chinese companies so we’re partnering with GCBD to offer iCloud.”

GCBD was co-founded by the government of Guizhou, which hopes to promote the region as a data center hub.

Despite the close ties to the Chinese government on this project, both with GCBD and this committee (which is staffed by Communist Party members), Apple was quick to highlight that data would be kept secure.

It said: “Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems.”

The company also said that its facility in China will be powered by renewable energy, like its other data centers around the world, and that its investments in Guizhou Province would pass $1 billion.