Microsoft laid out $1.5 billion for a minority stake in United Arab Emirates-based G42 in a deal that gives the tech giant a seat on the AI company’s board of directors.

Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith will assume the board position. The size of Microsoft’s stake wasn’t specified.

The companies stated they gave assurances to both the US and UAE governments “to apply world-class best practices to ensure the secure, trusted, and responsible development and deployment of AI”.

The New York Times reported the investment is backed by the administration of US President Joe Biden as part of a plan to block China’s influence across the Gulf region.

The news agency previously reported G42 had connections to the Chinese government and its military industrial complex, which the company denied on 11 January of this year.

G42 will run its AI applications on Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform to deliver services and applications to global public sector clients and large enterprises. Both companies will also support the establishment of a $1 billion fund for developers.

The two companies first announced a partnership in in April 2023 to develop AI services for the public sector and industry by using Microsoft’s partner ecosystem and cloud capabilities.

Microsoft’s investment is the latest in a line of multi-billion dollar commitments to the AI sector in various regions around the world, on top of its $13 billion injection into OpenAI’s ChatGPT.