Microsoft is spending billions of dollars to push its AI and cloud vision, with investments into local south east Asian markets, namely Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Microsoft started this week when it announced it will invest $1.7 billion over the next four years in new cloud and AI infrastructure in Indonesia, as well as AI skilling opportunities for 840,000 people, and support for the nation’s growing developer community.

A day later Microsoft announced significant commitments to build new cloud and AI infrastructure in Thailand, and provide AI skilling opportunities for over 100,000 people. This investment will see it building a new regional data centre in Thailand.

Image credit: Microsoft

Asian investments

Then on Thursday Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced a $2.2 billion investment to advance new cloud and AI infrastructure in Malaysia during the Microsoft Build: AI Day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Nadella said Redmond 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.

Microsoft’s investment in Malaysia includes:

  • building cloud and AI infrastructure in Malaysia;
  • creating AI skilling opportunities for an additional 200,000 people in Malaysia
  • strengthening its partnership with the Government of Malaysia to establish a national AI Centre of Excellence and enhance the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities
  • supporting the growth of Malaysia’s developer community.

“We are committed to supporting Malaysia’s AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians,” said Nadella. “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.”

These huge investments in Asian nations comes after Microsoft in April had announced it would invest $2.9 billion over the next two years to increase its cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan.

Microsoft will also aim to provide AI skilling to more than 3 million people over the next three years, open its first Microsoft Research Asia lab in Japan, and deepen its cybersecurity collaboration with the Government of Japan.

European investments

The investments in south east Asia comes after Microsoft undertook similar steps in Europe, starting with the United Kingdom.

In November 2023 Microsoft made its single largest investment in its forty-year history in the UK, by spending £2.5 billion over the next three years to expand its next generation AI data centre infrastructure in the UK.

The Chancellor visits Microsoft’s West London data centre .
Image credit HM Treasury

Microsoft also said it would train more than one million people for the AI economy, as the UK government highlighted the country’s AI sector, which contributes £3.7 billion to the UK economy and employs 50,000 people.

Then in February 2024 Microsoft confirmed it will invest 3.2 billion euros ($3.44 billion) in Germany in the next two years, mostly in artificial intelligence.

Microsoft President Brad Smith in a post on X (formerly Twitter) at the time that the 3.2 billion EUR investment will double Microsoft’s AI infrastructure and cloud capacity to meet the country’s accelerating demand for AI services and offer digital skills training for more than 1.2 million Germans by the end of 2025.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Musk’s X Lawsuit Against Nazi Report Author Slated For 2025 Trial

Trial set for April 2025 against Media Matters, after its report prompted an advertising exodus…

13 hours ago

Elon Musk Wins Shareholder Vote On Pay, Texas Incorporation

Shareholders at Tesla vote to reinstate Elon Musk's 'ridiculous' $56bn pay package, and approve incorporation…

17 hours ago

X (Twitter) Now Hides Posts Liked By Users

Elon Musk’s X platform (formerly Twitter) has this week begun hiding user likes, amid reports…

1 day ago

US Mulls Additional AI Chip Restrictions For China – Report

Tightening the screws. Biden Administration is considering further restrictions on Chinese access to cutting-edge AI…

1 day ago