Microsoft will invest $1.5 billion in United Arab Emirates-based artificial intelligence company G42 as the US tech giant seeks to strengthen its position amid fast-growing competition.

Microsoft president Brad Smith will join G42’s board of directors. The investment comes in the context of the expansion of the collaboration between the two companies, with Microsoft now acquiring a minority stake.

The Microsoft Azure cloud service will host G42’s Artificial Intelligence applications. It is noted that the Arab company manages data centers and sells AI applications. It has developed an Arabic language model, called Jais, which will be offered through Microsoft Azure.

CNBC calls the deal “quite unusual.” The commercial part of the partnership “includes assurances to the US and UAE governments to implement best practices to ensure safe, reliable and responsible development of artificial intelligence,” Microsoft said.

Both governments are said to be heavily involved in the deal, CNBC notes.

“Both companies will act on their commitment to comply with US and international trade laws and regulations for security, responsible AI and business integrity,” Microsoft said.

G42 chairman Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahya is also a member of the Emirates national security council.

The US government’s involvement comes after months of scrutiny over possible G42 links to China. In January, Mike Gallagher, chairman of the US Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, asked the Commerce Department to “carefully review” the G42 to see if it should be included on America’s “blacklist”.

Gallagher claimed that G42 maintains relationships with blacklisted Chinese companies such as Huawei and cooperates with China’s military and intelligence services.

In January, G42 “categorically” denied the allegations.