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Google plans $2B investment for datacenter and cloud buildout in Malaysia

The US tech giant will build its first data center in the Asian market, where it offers AI training at local schools.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
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Google has unveiled plans to invest $2 billion in Malaysia, where it is looking to build its first data center and drive local capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI).

The new site will serve as a cloud region and support Google's digital services, including Maps, Workspace, and Search, the company said in a statement on Thursday. It also will power AI services that the cloud vendor is looking to drive in the country.

To be located in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the data center will be in one of 11 countries where Google runs such a facility, including Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea. The vendor currently operates 40 cloud regions and 121 zones worldwide. 

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When operational, the new data center will run alongside Google's dedicated cloud interconnection sites in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur. It also marks the vendor's largest investment so far in Malaysia, where it has operated for the past 13 years, according to Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat. 

"[In particular], the Google data center and cloud region...will empower our manufacturing and service-based industries to leverage AI and other advanced technologies to move up the global value chain," Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz said in a statement.

In March, Google launched programs to train Malaysian youth in AI-focused skills, working with the Ministry of Higher Education to provide 161 institutes of higher learning with 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each. It also offered Google Workspace tools to 445,000 public officers.

The US company added that it had introduced two programs to boost AI literacy among local students and educators, including the Gemini Academy, which aims to help educators use generative AI tools, such as Gemini, responsibly. More than 600 educators have participated in this program since its pilot last November, which now has expanded to include more educational institutions. Google is targeting for 15,000 educators to go through the program by year's end. 

Also: Google joins collaborative efforts to build localized large language models

Google has also been providing on-site AI training and materials to students aged 11 to 14. Launched in April, that program aims to train an initial target of 1,000 educators and, in turn, reach 10,000 students across Malaysia, Google said.

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