Microsoft to invest $1.7 billion in cloud, AI in Indonesia, CEO says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 29, 2024 | 11:19 PM

By Stanley Widianto

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Microsoft will invest $1.7 billion in Indonesia to empower the Southeast Asian country with cloud services and artificial intelligence, including by building data centres, visiting chief executive Satya Nadella said on Tuesday.

Jakarta is Nadella’s first stop on his trip to Southeast Asian countries as the U.S. company promotes its generative AI technology to bolster growth. He is due to visit Malaysia and Thailand later this week.

Microsoft will expand its investment in data centres and cloud computing in Indonesia by $1.7 billion “to bring the latest and greatest AI infrastructure to Indonesia,” Nadella said in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

“So we’re going to lead this wave in terms of AI infrastructure that’s needed.”

Nadella met with Indonesia’s outgoing President Joko Widodo and his cabinet ministers earlier on Tuesday, to discuss joint AI research and talent development, Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi told reporters.

Microsoft will train 2.5 million people in Southeast Asia in AI use by 2025, Nadella said.

Microsoft is trying to expand its support for the development of AI globally, including with a $2.9 billion investment in cloud and AI infrastructure in Japan and a $1.5 billion investment in UAE-based AI firm G42.

Nadella’s Jakarta visit comes two weeks after Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook met Widodo and said he would look into building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a huge, tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

Last week, Microsoft beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit, driven by gains from adoption of artificial intelligence across its cloud services.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Martin Petty)