Helena Lyng Blak
3 weeks ago

Microsoft to Invest Billions in ASEAN Cloud and AI “Transformation”

Explore how Microsoft's multibillion-dollar investment is set to transform ASEAN's tech landscape.
3D CGI. Microsoft Corporation Holding Signage Logo on Top of Glass Building. Workplace of Technology Internet Company Office Headquarter. — Photo by askarimullin
3D CGI. Microsoft Corporation Holding Signage Logo on Top of Glass Building. Workplace of Technology Internet Company Office Headquarter. — Photo by askarimullin

On Thursday, May 2, 2024, United States-based Microsoft announced it will invest $2.2 billion US dollars over the next four years in Malaysia’s “digital transformation”.  

It is the largest investment in the country in 32 years.

Microsoft’s investment will focus on building cloud and AI infrastructure in Malaysia, strengthening the relationship between Microsoft and the Malaysian government, and lastly support the growth of the country’s developer community, including creating skilling opportunities for 200,000 people. 

Satya Nadella, Chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft, said, “We are committed to supporting Malaysia’s AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians.”

“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.” 

Additionally, the tech giant announced significant commitments to a range of other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including promises to provide AI skilling opportunities for 2.5 million people across the region as well as a $1.7 billion investment in Indonesia’s cloud and AI development.

“What’s truly exciting is the innovation mindset already prevalent in ASEAN. Investing in AI skills is investing in a future where economic growth is inclusive, giving every person a chance to contribute and benefit. With a robust pool of talent skilled in disruptive technologies, ASEAN is well positioned for the global tech race,” said Andrea Della Mattea, president of ASEAN at Microsoft.  

Microsoft is not new to investments in AI. The company itself developed the large language model (LLM) chatbot Copilot, which launched in 2023. 

It is also, significantly, a major investor in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, owning 49% of the company, according to Techopedia, having invested more than $13 billion. In March of this year, Reuters further reported that the two companies were planning a data center project that could cost as much as $100 billion.

Microsoft’s shares have generally seen a solid growth throughout the ‘AI renaissance,’ with a moderate 6.54% increase year-to-date and a 29.38% climb in the last 12 months.


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