Jack Ma intends to make Hainan Province a giant smart city


On Feb. 20, the government of Hainan Province signed a series of strategic cooperation agreements with Alibaba Group to transform the province via Smart City initiatives and infrastructure.

Jack Ma said he intends to further promote Hainan’s smart service industry via Alibaba’s big data and cloud computing proficiencies. To do so, he proposed a five-part program:

  • Alibaba will actively participate in the opening up of Hainan via Alibaba Globalization Development, further promoting the belt and road initiative
  • Alibaba will actively participate in the development of Hainan’s countryside through better internet availability and agriculture
  • Alibaba will further strengthen the region’s development of modern service industries by piloting and developing Chinese and global smart initiatives
  • Alibaba will develop Hainan Island as a large Smart City, focusing on safety, online payment platforms, and smart government.
  • Alibaba will speed up its development of new retail in Hainan to boost consumer spending

The first agreement between Hainan Province and Alibaba Group was made in 2014 when the Hainan International Tourism Pilot Zone officially agreed to build China’s first networked city via cloud computing and big data technologies, an RMB 5 billion (US$789 million) investment.

At the end of 2016, the Hainan government signed another strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba Group to infuse tourism with internet technologies, art with science, and rural e-commerce with big data.

Hainan Province is China’s only tropical island province and is located at the country’s southernmost point. Its total land area is 35,400 square kilometers, and its sea area is about two million square kilometers. It is also the only provincial special economic zone and the largest special economic zone in China.

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