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Apple Building $1.4 Billion Data Center in Iowa

Apple announced plans Wednesday to build a state-of-the art data center in Waukee, Iowa.

The company said it will invest $1.375 billion to build the data center, creating more than 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area. It also said it would contribute an additional $100 million to a fund to improve infrastructure and community development projects in Waukee.

Apple will join Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, and Microsoft by building a data center in Iowa. Tech companies are increasingly choosing to locate data centers in the U.S., in part out of concerns about data security that arise when they locate data centers outside of the United States.

The Apple announcement made it clear that the purpose of the data center would be to “better serve North American users” of its services. In other words, the company is choosing to keep American data safe in the American Heartland.

The U.S. government recently launched a probe of the theft of intellectual property in China, including the theft of data from tech companies. While U.S. tech companies have hesitated to publicly attack China for data theft, it is one of their biggest concerns, and they actively work with policymakers behind the scenes. China has reacted with fury to the U.S. probe.

The Chinese government has been pushing tech companies to build data centers in China. It recently enacted a cybersecurity law that is compelling companies operating in China to locate data centers there. Last month, Apple announced it would build a data center in China to comply with the law.

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