G42, a leading United Arab Emirates (UAE) artificial intelligence (AI) agency has vowed to cut ties with Chinese hardware suppliers.

The announcement is another development in the geopolitical struggle between China and the US in the race for emerging information technology in the Middle East, reports The Financial Times.

The Abu-Dhabi company was founded in 2018 and is chaired by UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed. Sheikh Tahoon has been pushing for increased for investment in the UAE from multiple nations.

UAE at the heart of the international AI battleground

The Gulf state has become the focus of multiple expansions by US-based companies in AI and information technology.

Chair of G42 Peng Xiao said; “for better or worse, as a commercial company, we are in a position where we have to make a choice,” Xiao told the Financial Times. “We cannot work with both sides. We can’t.”

The decision to phase out Chinese hardware, most notably chips and processors, comes from the investment and pressure of US corporate partners currently operating in the UAE.

Peng’s announcement marks a crossroad for G42 who have worked with US companies to extend their investment in the Gulf State whilst also working with China and other nations. Most notably Huawei on Chinese-developed processors and data centers, and Sweden’s Ericsson for telecommunications development in the region.

Last month G42 agreed to a deal with OpenAI, the research company responsible for ChatGPT, marking another US-based company providing AI solutions across public, healthcare and financial services in the UAE.

Microsoft also announced the next phase of their collaboration with G42 to offer to “make available sovereign cloud offerings, co-innovate and deliver advanced AI capabilities, and expand the existing data center infrastructure in the UAE.”

AI is becoming an increasingly important topic for nations as can be seen from last month’s gathering of world leaders to address safe AI development. The US has since announced the formation of an AI safety institute within the Department of Commerce.

Photo by Kevin Villaruz/Pexels 

Brian-Damien Morgan

Freelance Journalist

Brian-Damien Morganis an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014, Media and Sport Directorate of the Scottish Government. Working with ministers to enact change through sport with institutions like the Homeless World Cup. He would then lend his skills to multiple private sector institutions. Brian would win national acclaim helping his country deliver judicial education and communications during the pandemic-era. Earning a writ of personal distinction from the Lord President of Scotland for his efforts as the Head of Communications and Digital for the Judicial Office for Scotland. Brian has returned back to the thing he loves most, writing and commenting on developments across technology, gaming and legal topics, as well as any-and-all things sport related.