Microsoft to build Taiwan data center amid US-China tech war

Microsoft to build Taiwan data center amid US-China tech war

Taiwanese president touts investment as show of deeper ties with Washington

TAIPEI — Microsoft is to make its largest investment in Taiwan by building its first cloud-computing data center there and turning it into a key Asia operating hub amid uncertainty created by an intensifying U.S.-China tech war.

The U.S. software giant said the company, which invests $1 billion in data and cybersecurity each year, will also work with Taiwan to enhance the security of the electronics supply chain.

“This is a very important day for Microsoft, as it is our biggest investment in Taiwan over the past 31 years of presence here,” Microsoft Taiwan General Manager Ken Sun told a press conference. “Taiwan is a reliable partner to Microsoft as it has a complete information technology supply chain with resourceful talents. We also see cross-industry collaboration opportunities with semiconductors, telco, medical and other industries here.”

Microsoft said its plans for its Azure cloud-computing business would help to create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in Taiwan and generate some 300 billion New Taiwan dollars ($10.5 billion) of economic value by 2024.

The American software giant’s announcement came a month after Google said it would build its third data center in Taiwan, a democratic-ruled island that China views as a part of its territory and has not ruled out using force to take over. Google cited the island’s location as strategically suited for an Asian data transfer hub.