Hangzhou gears up to host the 1st Asian Games in the Cloud

The Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) has launched its core systems on Alibaba Cloud as part of efforts to accelerate the digitalisation of the Asian Games, to be held September 23 to October 8.

The 19th Asian Games were supposed to be held a year earlier, but was postponed due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in China in 2022.

The core systems, comprising Games Management Systems (GMS), Results Distribution Systems (RDS) and Games Support Systems (GSS), will support around-the-clock operations of 56 competition venues and other critical facilities.

These include the information technology management center, main media centre and the Hangzhou Asian Games Villages, which serve more than 100,000 registered users such as the athletes, broadcasters, journalists, staff and volunteers from 45 countries and regions across the globe.

As the Games’ official information technology integrator and cloud service provider, Alibaba Cloud is responsible for running an all-on-cloud Asian Games.

Selina Yuan, president of international business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, said they have extensive experience supporting large-scale global sports events, building upon their cloud technologies and services.

“With the even more advanced core systems support, we are committed to an effective collaboration with the Games’ stakeholders, and with further improved cloud broadcast technologies, we will bring more engaging viewing experience to the global audience and sport fans,” said Yuan.

Alibaba Cloud provides the fundamental architecture that supports the seamless integration of the core systems as well as intelligent applications such as cloud broadcasting and event organisation and communications.

For example, at the end of each competition the Results Distribution System will receive data from the timing and scoring system at the venue, which will be further integrated into the central system for distribution in different formats through different application programming interfaces (APIs), such as the results display and news feeds.

In addition, there is no longer a need for physical data centres that require large dedicated space and maintenance facilities to run. Cloud resources will be released once the event is concluded, making the games more environmentally friendly.

The Hangzhou Asian Games will also be the first in the games’ history during which Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) will receive live footage through public cloud infrastructure.

Alibaba Cloud expects to transmit more than 5,000 hours of live footage through as many as 68 high-definition (HD) and ultra-high-definition (UHD) feeds during the event. In addition to live broadcast, the cloud-based content platform delivers footage in HD or UHD, highlights of the Games and news flashes for RHBs to present to the audience’s mobile or other devices.

Also, the Hangzhou Asian Games has launched an Intelligent Operation Platform to manage the operation of the three Asian Games Villages, which is expected to host over 20,000 athletes, reporters and officials. 

The platform leverages Alibaba Cloud’s advanced visualisation tool to analyse real-time intelligence to further streamline the management system, while providing more seamless user experience for those who live in the Villages.

For example, Alibaba Cloud’s solution use real-time information to analyse traffic and crowd management. 

A warning will be provided on a dashboard if a public area gets too crowded for public safety. Extreme weather, power failure and fire warnings are also available for organizer’s intelligence-driven decisions.

With Alibaba Cloud’s natural language processing (NLP) technology, an intelligent service robot will also provide all-day online consulting services in both English and Chinese for people living in the Asian Games Villages through a web application service. 

The chatbot can provide real-time responses related to the services available in the Villages.