Microsoft announces $2.2 bn AI, cloud investment in Malaysia

Microsoft pledged a $2.2 billion investment in artificial intelligence and cloud computing in Malaysia on Thursday to help develop the country's AI infrastructure.

The tech giant's chief executive Satya Nadella is on a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia — Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia — to announce a range of investments in data centres, AI and cloud services.

"Today, Microsoft announced it will invest $2.2 billion over the next four years to support Malaysia's digital transformation — the single largest investment in its 32-year history in the country," it said in a statement released as Nadella gave a keynote speech in Kuala Lumpur.

It said the cash would help to build AI and cloud infrastructure in Malaysia, creating an AI centre of excellence and giving AI training to as many as 200,000 Malaysians.

"We are committed to supporting Malaysia's AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians," Nadella said in the statement.

"Our investments in digital infrastructure and skilling will help Malaysian businesses, communities, and developers apply the latest technology to drive inclusive economic growth and innovation across the country."

He also confirmed the investment in his keynote speech, saying he was "really pleased" to announce the expansion.

"We really want to make sure that we have world-class infrastructure right here in the country so that every organisation, every software developer, every start-up, can use it to really not only to build for this country, but for the world and the region," he told the crowd.

The pledge comes after he announced a $1.7 bn investment in Indonesia, as well as Thailand's first data centre region this week to boost cloud and artificial intelligence...

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