Industry Reports

Alibaba Partners Macau to Develop Smart City Governance

Technode media reported earlier today that the Chinese online retailer Alibaba launches a large-scale project to turn the gambling hub Macau into a “smart city” via Alibaba Cloud platform, attempting to attract more foreign visitors and revive the local tourism sector.

Alibaba is about to introduce a technological revolution in the Chinese “Las Vegas”, aiming to turn it into a city of the future. The company revealed its long-term plan, which involves 2 stages. The first one will be dedicated to key aspects such as health care, transport, city governance and tourism. The first phase of the project is set to start this year, reaching the finish line in 2019.

Over the 2-year long period, Alibaba told that the team will work on the development of cloud computing technology, which will enable the project implementation. In fact, the company already finalized a similar project in October 2016 based on the same cloud technology.

The company revealed that the second phase of the project will focus on environmental protection, economic forecasting and customs clearance. The latter is expected to solve the problem with the Pearl Delta Region, which covers 3 different customs areas, including Macau, Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland.

Looking forward to work on this project, Alibaba entered into a special agreement with the government of Macau, also referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding, which will last for 4 years. The project aims to update Macau’s outlook and provide diversity to its visitors.

Being a major gambling hub in China, Macau generates more than half of its revenues from the gambling industry. Unfortunately, the industry suffered a significant slowdown due to Chinese President Xi’s crackdown, which was aiming to weed out illicit operators from the country’s proliferating gaming industry. At that moment, Macau started to invest hard efforts in reviving its tourism industry, as the severe measures scared off many high rollers, who did not dare to come cross Macau’s borders again. This wiped away some of Macau’s charm as a gambling hub, which left the city deprived of its main tourist attraction.

Hence, Alibaba’s project comes at the exact moment to help Macau diversify its outlook and reinvigorate its tourism industry. The company highlighted only a part of the future attractions, without providing further details, but it preferred to keep the cost of the project in secret.

Under the collaboration, Macau will enhance its electronic systems, which will utilize a special platform powered by a cloud computing technology. The company guaranteed that all the data will be safely kept, without placing any threats of information leakage. The smart city governance will establish a communicative channel between the different government departments to work as a whole unity.