Xiaomi says it plans to move data for customers that are not Chinese nationals to data centers in the United States and Singapore.
“This is a very high priority for Xiaomi as we expand into new markets over the next few years,” Barra said.
Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra made the announcement on Facebook earlier this week, shortly after censorship watchdog GreatFire.org reported that Apple’s iCloud being the target of a man in the middle attack from Chinese authorities hoping to harvest the login details of users. Xiaomi had previously faced scrutiny and investigation in Taiwan as reports from the island-state indicated that Xiaomi handsets were sending data back to China — posing a security risk if the phones were used by government officials.
Barra said that Xiaomi will use Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) cloud services for US customers, and Akamai’s content delivery network for global customers.
Barra said the transition out of China will occur in two phases. The first part, which should be done within the next few weeks, involves moving its e-commerce platform and Mi Services to new datacenters. Part two involves building new data centers in up-and-coming markets such as Brazil, Russia and India.
For Xiaomi — a company with global aspirations — having data centers in China is something of a liability. Legally, a company hosting data in the country must give authorities access to it upon request. There are no oversight mechanisms such as warrants in China. This move should help restore some confidence in the brand for privacy concerned consumers.