ByteDance plans $2.1 billion investment in Malaysia for AI, minister says

The ByteDance logo is seen at the company's office in Shanghai

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - China's ByteDance, parent of social media app TikTok, plans to invest around 10 billion ringgit ($2.13 billion) to set up an artificial intelligence hub in Malaysia, the country's trade minister said on Friday.

As part of the deal, the latest in a number of global tech companies expanding into Southeast Asia, ByteDance will also expand its data centre facilities in Malaysia's Johor state through an additional 1.5 billion ringgit investment, Investment, Trade And Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said.

"This additional investment by ByteDance will undoubtedly help Malaysia achieve its target of growing the digital economy to 22.6% of Malaysia's gross domestic product by 2025," Tengku Zafrul said in a post on X.

The announcement follows similar large investments in Malaysia by other tech giants in recent months.

Last month, Google said it was planning a $2 billion investment to develop its first data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia, while Microsoft said it will invest $2.2 billion to expand cloud and AI services.

($1 = 4.6880 ringgit)

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)