Google has committed to investing $2 billion in developing its first data center and cloud region in Malaysia.

Google Malaysia
Artist impression of Google's first data center in Malaysia – Google

The cloud giant has already selected a site for the development, which will be in Sime Darby Property's Elmina Business Park in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

The data center is described as being "state-of-the-art" and to prioritize efficiency, sustainability, and the use of clean energy.

Ruth Porat, president, chief investment officer & CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: "Google's first data center and Google Cloud region is our largest planned investment so far in Malaysia – a place Google has been proud to call home for 13 years. This investment builds on our partnership with the Government of Malaysia to advance its 'Cloud First Policy,' including best-in-class cybersecurity standards."

Google has an existing presence in Malaysia in the form of two Dedicated Cloud Interconnect locations in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur.

YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, said: "Google's US$2 billion investment in Malaysia will significantly advance the digital ambitions outlined in our New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). The Google data center and Google Cloud region in Greater Kuala Lumpur, in particular, will empower our manufacturing and service-based industries to leverage AI and other advanced technologies to move up the global value chain.

"We also value Google’s plan to help us develop a robust talent ecosystem by facilitating the growth of our people’s digital skills, businesses, and careers."

According to Google's announcement, the development will bring 26,500 jobs to the area by 2030.

Google and the Government of Malaysia entered into a strategic collaboration in November 2023 to create growth opportunities in the country using AI and cloud technologies. This latest investment is hoped to support more than $3.2bn in contributions to Malaysia's GDP.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that an "unnamed tech company" was leasing a 49-acre site for 20 years in the Elmina Business Park. The project is set to break ground in Q2 2024, for a 2026 completion. Sime Darby will manage the design and development, infrastructure planning, and construction management.

The company associated with this development is "Pearl Computing," which is described as a wholly-owned subsidiary of an unnamed multinational technology company. A report in Edge Malaysia says Pearl is a wholly-owned unit of Singapore-based Raiden APAC Pte Ltd, which itself is part of a tech company headquartered in the US, likely Google.

Google first announced plans for a cloud region in Malaysia in 2022.

In 2023, Amazon Web Services announced that it was planning a cloud region in the country along with $6bn in investment by 2037.

Microsoft first shared its intention to develop a cloud region in Kuala Lumpur in 2021 that still hasn't launched; it acquired land in Johor earlier this year. The company recently committed to investing $2.2 billion in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) services in Malaysia over the next four years.