HANGZHOU, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Hangzhou Asian Games has begun with the evening opening ceremony on September 23. The opening ceremony combined Chinese traditions, culture and digital innovations at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium for a spectacular kickoff event.
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Digital torchbearers joining to light the cauldron for the Hangzhou Asian Games (Photo: Business Wire)
As the Official Prestige Partner and technology provider of Hangzhou Asian Games, Alipay has supported over 100 million digital torchbearers to join the first-ever digital cauldron lighting in Asian Games history during the ceremony. These digital torchbearers were combined as one digital torchbearer avatar to light the cauldron together with swimming Olympic champion Wang Shun.
The Asian Games Digital Torchbearer Online Relay campaign was launched on June 15, 2023, the 100-day countdown to the Games. Participants can search for “Asian Games” on Alipay and become an “Asian Games Digital Torchbearer” by accessing “Smart Hangzhou 2022” platform to pass the flame and spirit of the Asian Games across Asia.
Over 100 million users signed up to be part of the digital torchbearer program via Smart Hangzhou 2022, the first one-stop digital service platform for a major international multi-sport event.
After the cauldron lighting ceremony, digital torchbearers received a special certificate of participation, which will be stored on blockchain to mark the special moment.
“We wanted an inclusive cauldron lighting ceremony, virtually and in person, to share in the Olympic spirit,” said Sha Xiaolan, the chief director and chief producer for the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony. “The Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee recommended Alipay to us. We’re thankful to the Alipay engineers for turning our vision into reality, allowing 100 million users to enjoy the ceremony.”
To allow users with different types of phones to participate in the digital cauldron lighting ceremony, Alipay’s engineers tested over 300 types of phones to ensure that even phones produced 8 years ago could still support the digital interaction, which is powered by Alipay’s in-house developed technologies including Galacean interactive engine, AI avatars, cloud services, and blockchain solutions.
In addition to digital cauldron lighting, tens of thousands of on-site spectators participated in the interactions through Alipay’s AR and AI technologies, including summoning the official mascots on their phone and flying a virtual lantern to make good wishes.
In the evolving digital era, Alipay has transformed from a trusted payment tool to an open platform for businesses, institutions, service providers, and other partners. Business partners in various industries utilize Alipay to offer consumers a safe and convenient payment experience. Through digital operations on the Alipay platform, business partners can communicate and provide various commercial and daily life digital services for their clients via Alipay mini programs, lifestyle accounts, and IoT, along with other tools available. Currently, there have been over 80 million businesses serving more than one billion consumers via Alipay’s open platform services.