Alibaba Sports gains control of Hangzhou’s ‘Big Lotus’ ahead of Asian Games

The Alibaba Sports division of Chinese technology giant Alibaba has sealed a 15-year contract to operate and manage Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center.

The contract has been rubber-stamped after Alibaba Sports initially won the bid for the project in November 2020, with the complex set to serve as the main element of Hangzhou’s staging of the 2022 Asian Games.

Comprising the 80,000-seat ‘Big Lotus’ main stadium and 10,000-seat ‘Small Lotus’ tennis centre as its main attractions, the complex first opened its doors in December 2018. Chinese media outlet Lanxiong Sports said Alibaba Sports’ self-developed smart management, operations and service system for the digital operations of venues will be completed and put into use before the end of the year. 

The event service management platform adapted to the two major Asian Games venues will also be launched before the multi-sport event takes place from September 10-25. Alibaba signed up as an official partner of Hangzhou 2022 in December 2019 and Alibaba Sports CEO, Mu Yang, said: “Alibaba Sports plans to combine the existing infrastructure of the venues.

“We will use 5G, AR/VR, IoT, big data, AI artificial intelligence, digital twins and other new-generation information technologies to connect the data resources of the large and small lotus and surrounding areas to form a low-carbon, efficient, intelligent, and convenient new pattern to provide digital support for venue operations, urban transportation, local services and other dispatches during the event, to ensure the ‘digital wisdom’ Asian Games, and help Hangzhou to host a ‘green, intelligent, thrifty, and civilised’ Asian Games.”

In June, it was announced that next year’s Asian Games will be the testing ground for a new Huawei 5G network that will be piloted at the ‘Big Lotus’ Hangzhou Olympic Sports Park Stadium after it was verified by China Mobile.

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