Displaying items by tag: Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba and Macau join forces to implement smart city vision

Written on Thursday, 10 August 2017 11:47

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will contribute its cloud computing capabilities to transform Macau, an autonomous region on the south coast of China, into one of Asia Pacific’s leading smart cities, South China Morning Post reported. Alibaba and Macau signed an agreement on Friday August 4.

The two parties will collaborate in upgrading Macau’s IT infrastructure, by leveraging the technologies of Alibaba Cloud, the group’s cloud computing arm. Improving the city’s IT infrastructure is expected to bring in more digital developments in tourism, transportation, healthcare, governance and talent development.

The partnership will bring various benefits to both residents and tourists in Macau, which will see Alibaba Cloud leverage its experience in deploying smart city projects across mainland China. The tech giant’s expertise in the field include using artificial intelligence to improve road management, air and water transportation, and also customizing guided tours based on data-driven analysis.

The Chinese autonomous region of Macau has built a reputation for gambling similar to Las Vegas in the United States. In fact, Macau is currently the world’s wealthiest gambling hub, with casino revenues topping 23 billion patacas (US$2.86 billion) in July 2017, official data indicates.

“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,” said Simon Hu, senior vice president of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud.

In an interview with South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, he said, “We are confident about making Macau’s transformation into a smart city a demonstration project across Asia-Pacific region.”

Alibaba’s partnership with Macau will span four years, with the first phase (2017 to 2019) focusing on cloud computing, smart transportation, smart tourism, smart healthcare, smart city governance, and talent acquisition. Training programs will be undertaken by Alibaba to increase Macau’s cloud computing and e-commerce professionals.

The partnership will mark Alibaba’s first smart city project outside mainland China. Macau chose to collaborate with Alibaba to foster the development of cloud computing and big data technologies, said a statement by O Lam, head of the region’s office of the chief executive, after observing how other cities have developed their own smart city visions.

“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,” O Lam said.

Alibaba has proven its smart city capabilities, particularly with Hangzhou City Brain, and artificial intelligence-enabled transportation management system, which has enabled traffic speed to increase 11 percent in the city’s Xiahshan district, where the project is being piloted.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced that it has expanded its data center in Hong Kong by more than doubling the capacity to address the increasing demand for secure and scalable computing services in Asia Pacific.

As part of Alibaba Cloud's strategy to expand its global network coverage, the expanded Hong Kong data center will meet enterprises' demand for high availability and disaster recovery, along with greater access to diversified service offerings such as data storage and analytics, enterprise-level middleware, and cloud security services.

"Since our entry into Hong Kong in 2014, Alibaba Cloud has become one of the largest public cloud providers in the market in less than two years. More companies have come to realize the importance of changing their traditional IT mind-set to embrace the new data technology," said Mr. Ethan Yu, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global. "We are confident that the expanded data center facility, together with our scalable and secure cloud offering, will better meet the needs of the digital transformation in key local sectors such as hospitality and financial services."

This development marks the company's latest expansion on top of recent data center openings in Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. To date, Alibaba Cloud has established physical presence in 14 global economic centers including mainland China, Singapore and the United States.

As the gateway to China's economy, Hong Kong has become one of the most popular destinations in Asia Pacific for business expansion and investment. Hong Kong also leads the region in terms of cloud adoption as more and more businesses tap into cloud computing for benefits such as operational efficiency and innovation. The city reached the top in Asia Cloud Computing Association's Cloud Readiness Index 2016.

Since 2014, Alibaba Cloud's Hong Kong team has offered tailored solutions across many sectors, including financial services, retail, hospitality and media. The company also brought advanced cloud security offerings to the market. In August 2016, Alibaba Cloud launched cloud-based Anti-DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) security products together with PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider. With Anti-DDoS as part of its cloud service, Alibaba Cloud has a proven record of protecting customers against DDoS attacks.

In 2016, Alibaba Cloud became the first Chinese cloud computing company that attained ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011, the latest certification for IT service management standards. It also achieved Singapore Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) standard Level 3 and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DDS) over the last year.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, and PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, jointly announced on August 25 their expanded strategic collaboration to provide cloud based anti-DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) security products to enterprises.

The two companies have cooperated to provide network and IDC (Internet Data Center) services in Hong Kong since June 2015. The new collaboration will deliver Alibaba Cloud’s world-class anti-DDoS products to international business customers through PCCW Global.

Alibaba Cloud’s anti-DDoS products sold and distributed through PCCW Global will offer businesses comprehensive protection against all types of DDoS threats, including complex layer 7 application-level attacks. The automatic cloud-based service monitors compliance violations and security breaches to provide real-time threat visibility.

Mr. Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global, said: “We are pleased to be playing a role in extending Alibaba Cloud’s capabilities to new markets. The relationship with Alibaba Cloud is a remarkable opportunity to provide our combined customers with the very best in data security, customer-service quality, and network coverage. Adding Alibaba Cloud’s security products to our threat identification systems will offer enterprises a holistic perspective of complete security needs.”

Alibaba Cloud’s cloud platform has a proven track record in handling extremely high traffic levels which can easily be a target for DDoS attacks. Alibaba Cloud’s success in processing a peak order volume of over 140,000 orders per second during Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival last year is a powerful validation of Alibaba Cloud’s security reliability.

DDoS attacks occur when multiple systems are used to flood the access capacity of a targeted system. In recent years, sophisticated DDoS attacks have increased in frequency, size and complexity. Alibaba Cloud successfully thwarted one of the world’s largest cyberattacks on December 20, 2014, protecting a gaming app company from a 14-hour long DDoS attack with peak attacking traffic of 453.8 gigabits per second.

Not only has Alibaba Cloud nullified some of the largest cyberattacks in history, but its security technologies are now scalable such that PCCW Global will be able to offer service guarantees for various forms of security applications.

Since the acquisition of Crypteia Networks in 2014, PCCW Global has been a leading provider of cybersecurity for global enterprises across multiple network layers. In China, Alibaba Cloud has developed its own world class anti-DDOS software and security services. This collaboration will further protect their customers and businesses from the ever increasing threat of cyberattack.

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