Microsoft Invests in UAE AI Giant G42, Achieving Multilevel Strategic Cooperation

Technology Author: EqualOcean News Apr 16, 2024 06:21 PM (GMT+8)

Today, Microsoft and UAE's AI giant G42 announced a strategic investment by Microsoft amounting to 10.8 billion RMB (approximately 1.5 billion USD). This investment marks G42's first major move since its announcement of withdrawing from the Chinese market, signaling a new phase in its global technological strategy.

As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will become a minority shareholder in G42. Beyond the infusion of funds, both parties will engage in deep cooperation across various domains. Microsoft's industry resources and technological prowess will help to expand new application scenarios for G42’s AI technology and could facilitate future collaborations with companies like OpenAI. Additionally, Brad Smith, Vice Chairman and President of Microsoft, will join G42's board of directors.

The specifics of the cooperation include Microsoft licensing G42 to operate and sell a range of AI services, and use AI chips provided by Microsoft for training generative AI models. In return, G42 will adopt Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services and together with Microsoft, will provide AI solutions to governments and large enterprises worldwide. The partners also plan to jointly establish a one billion USD fund to nurture AI development talent.

From a political perspective, this cooperation is supported by a detailed intergovernmental assurance agreement between the US and UAE, underscoring the political and strategic significance of the partnership. Both parties emphasized that their commercial activities will adhere to US and other internationally recognized legal standards, ensuring the safe, reliable, and responsible development and deployment of AI technology.

This collaboration is not just about financial investment; it crucially involves comprehensive cooperation between the two sides in AI technology, chip technology sharing, data security, and development cooperation. This partnership clearly positions G42 with the US in the backdrop of the US-China tech competition.

Lastly, it is noteworthy that following G42’s decision to withdraw from the Chinese market, its subsidiaries have gradually ceased issuing new job offers to holders of Chinese mainland passports, reflecting a part of the company's global strategic adjustment. This move is likely a direct response to the dynamics of international relations in the Middle East and an adaptation to changes in US-China relations.