Hangzhou, China — As part of the Asian Games’ digital transformation, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) has enlisted Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of Alibaba Group, to transition its core systems into the cloud.
The Hangzhou Asian Games, ongoing until Oct. 8, is touted as the “first Asian Games on the cloud,” leveraging cloud-based systems to minimize its physical infrastructure requirements. Historically, sports organizers had to construct their own data centers to meet the technological demands of such events.
“With cloud technology, we have the capability to optimize all systems for maximum efficiency,” Dongliang Guo, VP of Product and Solution for International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, said in a media briefing.
Alibaba Cloud’s involvement in the digital transformation of the sports industry began with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and continued through to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where the company modernized conventional systems encompassing communications and broadcasting for large-scale sporting events.
As the official information technology integrator and cloud service provider for the Asian Games, Alibaba Cloud is facilitating the operation of critical systems, including games management systems (GMS), results distribution systems (RDS), and games support systems (GSS), across 56 competition venues in Hangzhou.
Guo emphasized the enhanced efficiency of broadcasting facilitated by cloud technology, allowing for more diversified channels, extensive live coverage, and real-time global broadcasts. This innovation grants sports journalists access to a wealth of resources without the need for onsite presence.
“Through cloud technology, we can make broadcasting more diversified,” Guo said. “We can support more channels, provide more live footage, and broadcast all over the world in real-time. Cloud as infrastructure provides almost unlimited computing power to support all kinds of computing requirements from the sports events.”
In addition to delivering real-time information to viewers, Alibaba Cloud has introduced a digital platform featuring a real-time data intelligence visualization tool capable of mitigating overcrowding in public spaces. This platform empowers organizers to monitor weather conditions, power interruptions, and fire alerts.
Alibaba Cloud has also deployed a chatbot offering round-the-clock online consulting services in both English and Chinese within the Asian Games Villages through a web application service. The chatbot serves over 20,000 athletes, reporters, and officials.
The company has additionally restored old images from previous Asian Games utilizing generative AI.
Alibaba Cloud introduced a digital art piece created by AI image generation model Tongyi Wanxiang, which generated images in the style of traditional Chinese painting, featuring iconic scenic spots in Hangzhou and highlighting the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Alibaba Cloud collaborated with China Post to produce a series of postal stamps, employing Tongyi Wanxiang’s text-to-image, style transfer, and image-to-image capabilities to recreate six famous Hangzhou landmarks in a futuristic style.
For two years, Alibaba Cloud designed and developed a sign language interpreter to make the Games more inclusive. The interpreter (Xiaomo) in the app, which is integrated with the Group’s payment gateway Alipay, can translate sign language into speech and speech into sign language. It hopes to cater to more hearing-impaired individuals and it will be used in the Para Asian Games happening Oct. 22-28.
To ensure energy efficiency, the company is harnessing its Software-as-a-Service platform, Energy Expert, which it also uses in its headquarters to help reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the games as well as the participants. A web application allows participants to practice a green lifestyle and get rewarded for it.
Alibaba Cloud Summit
Simultaneous with the Asian Games, Alibaba Cloud unveiled new services aimed at addressing challenges in generative AI development during the Alibaba Cloud Summit, attended by partners and featuring a keynote address by Jian Wang, founder of Alibaba Cloud.
These AI solutions, including PAI-Lingjun Intelligent Computing Service and Alibaba Cloud AI Acceleration Solution, and OpenSearch LLM-Based Conversational Search, are designed to simplify AI processes, expedite AI model training and inference, and streamline the creation of AI-based search services.
Image of Hangzhou Asian Games Arena from Alibaba Cloud page