Xiaomi India migrating local servers and user data to India cloud

Tinuku - All new Indian user data since 1 July is already being stored in local servers and all existing user data will be fully migrated to servers in India by mid-September 2018, the company said, adding that the migration will result in a jump in access speed.

Xiaomi is moving local users’ data to the cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure located in India from servers in Singapore and the US, becoming the first major smartphone maker to initiate such a migration amid the ongoing debate on information security.

Tinuku Xiaomi India migrating local servers and user data to India cloud

“At Xiaomi, data privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. We are taking one more step towards user data security and privacy by bringing our cloud services to India for all local data needs,” said Xiaomi India managing director Manu Jain.

Xiaomi, ranked the country’s top smartphone maker by IDC, said all new Indian user data since July 1 was being stored on local servers and all existing information on mi.com/in/ will be fully migrated by the middle of September. This will cover all Indian user data across the Xiaomi ecommerce platform, Mi Community, Mi Cloud, MIUI and Mi TV.

“With the migration of local user data to Indian cloud service provider infrastructure based in India, users can expect a jump in access speed,” Jain said.

Xiaomi’s move comes as India increasingly sees data localisation is a critical element of governance. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) wants data related to payment systems stored in the country. The recent report on data protection by the BN Srikrishna committee suggested that data fiduciaries should ensure information is mirrored locally.

In addition, the government can notify categories of critical personal data that can only be stored in India, it recommended. Cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal said Xiaomi’s move reflected the significance of the Indian market, the world’s second largest after China.

“Data localisation is becoming an important component of governance in India. That's the reason why the RBI has notified that data pertaining to payment systems must be located within India," Duggal said.

“So, if we look at the country of 1.3 billion people, and you want to have access to that market, it makes logical sense to store your data within India.”

It will also provide an effective remedy to people affected by breaches under Indian laws. The Indian government had previously warned that it may force foreign handset makers to set up servers in India as the next step in ensuring protection of user data, following concerns about security breaches, especially as most Chinese smartphone vendors have servers in their home country.

The move by Xiaomi will prompt other handset vendors to do the same. Smartphone makers including South Korea’s Samsung, China’s Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Transsion, besides India’s Micromax, Intex and Lava didn't respond to queries.

Japan's Panasonic, which is a smaller player in the Indian smartphone market, said it already stores data related to its artificial intelligence-based app platforms, Arbo and Arbo Hub, in India using AWS servers. These platforms are used in Panasonic smartphones.

“Panasonic never stored user data on those servers which are out of India,” said mobility head Pankaj Rana.

Taiwanese handset maker Asus doesn’t store personal data in any form, said Dinesh Sharma, Asus India’s director, mobile product. All information is saved on the device itself, Rana said.

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