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Microsoft to invest US$2.9B to expand AI, cloud infra in Japan

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Microsoft said on Tuesday it would invest US$2.9 billion over two years to expand its cloud and AI infrastructure in Japan, the latest in a series of overseas expansions by large tech firms to support the development of artificial intelligence.

The investment - the company's largest in the 46 years of its operations in the country - will also go towards skilling three million people in AI and setting up a Microsoft Research Asia lab in Tokyo.

Server operators are expanding their data centers and cloud computing assets globally to support a boom in AI applications and workloads, after the late 2022 launch of ChatGPT.

 Amazon.com's cloud unit is investing  $10 billion in Mississippi and another $5.3 billion in Saudi Arabia towards data centers in those regions. Google is building a data center just outside London for $1 billion.

Microsoft's Azure, Alphabet-unit Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services are the top three cloud computing companies in the world.

(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura; additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik and Jaspreet Singh; editing by Jason Neely and Anil D'Silva)

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