Xiaomi to move non-Chinese user data offshore

Xiaomi to move non-Chinese user data offshore

23 OCT 2014

Fast-rising smartphone maker Xiaomi plans to move non-Chinese user data from China-based servers to Amazon servers in the US and data centres in Singapore.

The company said the move, which will happen over several phases, is driven by performance and privacy isues, Reuters reported. VP Hugo Barra (pictured) said that hosting data on overseas servers has improved speeds in India, Malaysia and Singapore.

Last month, in response to Chinese government pressure to improve the security of customer data, Apple controversially started hosting mainland users’ data on its iCloud service on China Telecom servers.

Storing data on servers based in China should help speed up delivery and improve the user experience for domestic users. But it also allows the government to demand user data stored on the local servers, which is presumably the main reason why Xiaomi is making the shift.

The company has run into a number of privacy issues recently. In August Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission investigated consumer complaints it was sending user data to remote servers in China without customer consent in violation of the country’s user data laws. It was also accused by researchers and a government agency in Taiwan of sending unauthorised user data back to its servers in Beijing.

Xiaomi’s announcement comes two days after Greatfire.org claimed Chinese authorities were behind a countrywide attack on Apple’s iCloud service in China aimed at obtaining users’ personal information.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met yesterday with China’s Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing to discuss personal data security.

In Q2 Xiaomi became the top smartphone brand in China with a 14 per cent share, according to IDC. Globally it is the number five maker with a 5 per cent share.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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