Earlier today, the government of Macau announced that it has entered into a strategic technological partnership with Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba as it accelerates towards the digital transformation of its city-state. Under the terms of the partnership, which is a four year agreement, the government of Macau will implement Alibaba’s cloud computing solutions in its proposed smart transportation, smart tourism, smart healthcare and smart city infrastructure.
Representatives of the Macau government say that residents and tourists who visit the autonomous city will be the first to benefit from the partnership, which will see Alibaba Cloud deploy its existing practices used in other major smart city projects across the continent. Alibaba Cloud’s current practices include using artificial intelligence to optimise the management of road, air and water transportation and customizing guided tours based on data-driven analysis.
While discussing the deal, the head of Macau’s office of the chief executive, O Lam, had this to say:
After setting the goal to turn Macau into a smart city, Macau Government has studied the experience of other cities in developing their own versions of smart cities. After thorough study and research, we have decided to collaborate with Alibaba Group to foster the development of cloud computing and big data technologies.
By leveraging the power of these technologies and connecting resources of different government departments, the project is expected to enhance the model of socio-economic operation in Macau, expediting the city’s transformation into a smart city.
Likewise, Senior VP of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud, Simon Hu, further endorsed the partnership:
Alibaba Cloud’s big data and deep learning technologies have been helping to build ‘city brains’ in China to help local governments effectively make management decisions. We are confident about making Macau’s transformation into a smart city a demonstration project across Asia-Pacific region.
The partnership with Macau is Alibaba’s first smart city undertaking outside of Mainland China. Macau is the world’s richest gambling hub, with casino revenues generating USD 2.85 billion for the economy as of July 2017.