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Alibaba Cloud to Power 2024 Paris Olympics with Cutting-Edge Cloud Technology

Updated: Jan 5

Alibaba Cloud, chosen by the event organiser as the next-gen broadcasting and logistics partner for the 2024 Summer Olympics, embraces the opportunity to showcase its cloud-based technologies on a global scale.

Alibaba
Credits: Getty Images

Alibaba Cloud, the official cloud services partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has secured a pivotal role in the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Founder Wang Jian announced that the Chinese tech giant would provide cutting-edge broadcasting, logistics planning and sensorless tracking services, presenting both significant opportunities and challenges.


The exclusive partnership, won by Alibaba Cloud over Amazon Web Services in 2017, encompasses cloud-based broadcasting, big data analytics, logistics support and sensorless tracking of athletes' performance. This collaboration will extend until the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, according to Wang.


As a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding, which also owns the South China Morning Post, Alibaba Cloud has already supported the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with its cloud-based solutions. However, Wang emphasized the magnitude of the upcoming Paris event, stating that cloud-based broadcasting will replace traditional satellite-based infrastructure on a full scale for the first time.


Wang expressed his aspirations for this technological leap, drawing parallels to the transformative impact of Nikola Tesla's electricity demonstration at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Amidst rising geopolitical tensions, Wang acknowledged the complexities faced by Chinese tech companies and assured that Alibaba Cloud, working closely with the IOC, would exclusively provide cloud services for the upcoming Olympics.


Addressing data security concerns, Alibaba Cloud has partnered with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) to develop a secure cloud infrastructure, guaranteeing that all licensed broadcasters will receive live footage exclusively through their platform. Furthermore, the collaboration aims to optimise logistics planning and streamline backstage operations, enabling the host city to make informed decisions that reduce costs and minimise disruptions to local communities and businesses.


Additionally, Alibaba Cloud and the IOC are jointly implementing the 3DAT (3D Athlete Tracking) technology, leveraging artificial intelligence-powered cameras developed in partnership with US chip giant Intel. This breakthrough technology will facilitate sensorless tracking of athletes on the field, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in capturing biomechanical data.


The forthcoming Paris Olympics marks a significant moment for Wang, whose pioneering work has established Alibaba Cloud as China's leading cloud provider. Wang joined Alibaba in 2008, shaping the company's cloud business from its infancy despite internal doubts. In his book "Being Online," he recounts his journey and highlights the trust placed in him by co-founder Jack Ma.


While Alibaba Cloud's market share in China dipped slightly to 32.6% in the second half of 2022, it remains the country's largest cloud provider. However, Wang acknowledged the formidable challenges that lie ahead, including operational changes, geopolitical tensions, and compliance with local regulations. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence in overcoming these obstacles and affirmed the historical significance of the upcoming event.


In the midst of Alibaba's ongoing reorganisation, the cloud unit is set to become an independent business and will be listed within a year. With Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang Yong shifting his focus solely to the cloud business, Alibaba demonstrates its unwavering commitment to the cloud as a vital growth engine.

 
  • Alibaba Cloud secures exclusive partnerships for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, providing next-gen broadcasting, logistics planning, and sensorless tracking services.

  • Cloud-based broadcasting has replaced traditional satellite-based infrastructure fully for the first time.

  • Alibaba Cloud aims to dispel data security concerns by offering live footage exclusively through its secure cloud infrastructure.

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