Apple Inc will build a data center in Ulanqab City in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, its second data center in China. The news comes shortly after Apple announced a agreement to hand over its iCloud data storage services in mainland China to a state-owned company in Guizhou due to regulatory concerns.
As Apple’s first data center in north China, the new center will start operation in 2020 and offer iCloud services on the Chinese mainland, according to a statement by the local government.
The project will use 100% renewable energy sources, according to the cooperation agreement between the government and the company.
China’s cybersecurity laws forbid foreign companies from owning or operating certain technology for the provision of cloud services and requires foreign firms to store data within the country. Last November, Amazon sold some of its cloud related physical infrastructure assets to its Chinese partner Beijing Sinnet Technology.
Low electricity costs, colder weather and supportive policies have made Inner Mongolia a popular site for cloud centers. A number of tech giants in China, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, and the three major telecom carriers, China Mobile Communications Corporation, China United Network Communications Group Co and China Telecom Corp, have established data centers in the region.
Ulanqab City is also home to Huawei’s cloud computing center.