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ByteDance to establish AI hub in Malaysia with $2.1bn investment

China-based ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is planning approximately $2.1bn (RM10bn) investment to create an artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Malaysia.

In addition to the AI hub, ByteDance is also planning to bolster its existing data centre operations in Malaysia with an additional investment of RM1.5bn.

In a post on X, Malaysian Investment, Trade And Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, shared insights on the development after a meeting with TikTok vice president Helena Lersch.

Currently, ByteDance operates a data centre in Sedenak Tech Park, Kulai, Johor.

Considering future needs, the Chinese technology major intends to expand its data centre facilities with an additional investment of RM1.5 billion, Aziz said.

This additional investment by ByteDance will support Malaysia in achieving its target to grow the digital economy to 22.6% of Malaysia’s GDP by 2025, he added.

ByteDance’s investment follows similar significant investments by other technology giants in Malaysia.

In May 2024, Google committed to a $2bn investment for the development of its first data centre and Google Cloud region in the country.

This facility is expected to enhance the performance of Google services such as Maps, Search, and Workspace, as well as support the nation’s private and public sectors.

In early May 2024, Microsoft also disclosed a $2.2bn investment plan over the next four years to aid Malaysia’s digital transformation efforts.

Microsoft’s investment will focus on building cloud and AI infrastructure, providing AI skilling opportunities, establishing a national AI Centre of Excellence, enhancing cybersecurity, and supporting the local developer community. Verdict

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