iCloud in China: Frequently asked questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the upcoming changes for iCloud services in China.

Apple recently announced a partnership with Chinese internet services company Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co., Ltd., (GCBD). This will allow us to continue to improve the speed and reliability of iCloud in China and comply with Chinese regulations.

Starting February 28, 2018, the operation of iCloud services in China will be transferred to GCBD. Use of these services and all the data you store with iCloud, including photos, videos, documents, and backups, will be subject to the new terms and conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD.

Which iCloud accounts will be subject to the transition to the new terms and conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD?

The operation of iCloud services associated with Apple IDs that have China in their country or region setting will be subject to this transition. You will be notified of this transition via email and notifications on your devices. You don't need to take any further action and can keep using iCloud in China. 

After February 28, 2018, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD to keep using iCloud in China. 

How do I update my Apple ID country or region setting if I'm not a Chinese citizen residing in the mainland of China?

You can edit the country or region setting of your Apple ID to reflect your current country or region.

When you change your billing address through the iTunes Store or App Store, it updates your billing address for all of the Apple services with which you use the same Apple ID. 

After you change your country or region setting, you might not be able to redownload some of your purchases from your original country or region.

If I'm a Chinese citizen residing in the mainland of China, how do I choose not to use iCloud operated by GCBD starting February 28th, 2018?

You can go to https://www.icloud.com/optout to indicate that you would like to deactivate your iCloud account as of February 28, 2018. 

If you change your decision and want to keep using iCloud in China, you can go back to https://www.icloud.com/optout anytime before February 28, 2018, to change your decision.

Before your iCloud account is deactivated, we recommend you make copies of the information you store in iCloud and then sign out of iCloud on all your devices.

Learn more about how to archive or make copies of the information you store in iCloud including your documents in iCloud Drive, photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library, your Notes, and more. 

After you make copies of the information you stored in iCloud, you should sign out of iCloud on all your devices to avoid getting error messages after your account is deactivated on February 28, 2018. Learn how to sign out of iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

What services and features will I not be able to use if I sign out of or deactivate my iCloud account?

When you sign out of iCloud, you can't access or use the following services on your devices or your Mac:

  • iCloud Backup
  • iCloud Photo Library
  • iCloud Photo Sharing
  • iCloud Drive
  • Find My iPhone or Find My Mac
  • Find My Friends
  • Apple Pay
  • iCloud Mail
  • Updates to your contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, and Safari tabs
  • Shared Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents
  • Shared Notes
  • Game Center
  • iCloud Keychain
  • Continuity features like Handoff, Universal Clipboard, and Auto Unlock with your Apple Watch
  • Home app to control your HomeKit devices
  • App data for any third-party apps that you've installed that use iCloud
  • Back to My Mac

If you sign out of iCloud and you don't keep a copy of your data on your device or your Mac, you can't access that data on your device or your Mac until you sign in to iCloud again.

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