Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, and Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group, attended the opening ceremony of the Alibaba pavilion at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Feb. 10. During the ceremony, Bach lauded a year of cooperation between the IOC and Alibaba, saying that the two had made great progress. As he passed the torch to Jack Ma, Bach said he was eagerly looking forward to the next 3,000 years of cooperation with Alibaba.
In January 2017, Alibaba joined The Olympic Partners Program, becoming the exclusive official partner providing cloud services and its e-commerce platform, as well as the founding partner of the Olympic Channel. The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is the first Olympic Games in which the IOC and Alibaba have cooperated.
“Over the past year, IOC has pursued lots of innovation via Alibaba, such as Cloud Computing Technology, E-commerce Platforms, and the Olympic Channel,” Bach stated. “Cloud services can help improve efficiency and make the games more sustainable. In addition, they can improve the viewership of the Olympic Games and further promote development. The Olympic Channel is the best promotional channel for the event, which will help consolidate the fans’ attention and greatly promote enthusiasm and recognition of sports fans around the world.”
Alibaba technology is helping the Olympics to evolve and upgrade. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, Alibaba will build the first ” Olympics on Cloud” using its cloud computing infrastructure to help the Olympic Games be more efficient and secure for fans and athletes. It also launched an artificial intelligence system, called Alibaba ET Sports Brain, helping the Olympic Games travel the road to digitalization.
In 2013, Bach proposed reducing overhead via digitization and cloud computing – a transformation he hopes to say happen by 2020. During an interview, Bach told the press that he would continue to introduce innovative possibilities for cooperation.
“Using cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technology, athletes – even those from small countries – can also be trained using data. Helping provide athletes an equal playing field is the basic spirit of the Olympic Games. Audiences used to be passive spectators, but in the future, they will enjoy customized services. Using technology, each Olympic Games experience can be accumulated, inherited and learned. Thanks to Alibaba’s innovation, we have not only improved our competitiveness, we’ve benefitted more people.” Bach stated.