China-Malaysia High-tech Cooperation: Alibaba rolls out its smart city system in Malaysia
Chinese tech giant Alibaba is working with Malaysia to use its know-how and technology to ease traffic congestion in the capital. But it doesn't stop there. Businesses, startups, and government agencies will also be able to benefit from the platform, known as City Brain. The first rollout of this smart city initiative outside of China is part of a trend of growing cooperation between the two countries in the high tech sector, as Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur has the most extensive rapid transit system in Southeast Asia aside from Singapore. But the city's fast-paced and somewhat haphazard development has led to serious traffic congestion.
Alibaba Cloud is aiming to harness artificial intelligence, Big Data, and the cloud to optimize the timing of traffic signals and ease traffic flow in Kuala Lumpur.
This first City Brain project outside China is collaboration with KL's city hall and Malaysia's digital economy agency.
YASMIN MAHMOOD, CEO MALAYSIA DIGITAL ECONOMY CORPORATION "Malaysia is very much committed to the one belt one road initiative so it's natural for us to have that level of collaboration to be manifesting itself into something that both countries find very important, which is an AI-driven solution, and how AI can impact society, and the economy of a country."
The capital's 500 traffic cameras will live stream to Alibaba's cloud. Ride-hailing app Grab and real-time navigation system Waze will also feed data to the system.
It's the latest high-tech collaboration between Chinese companies and Malaysia.
RIAN MAELZER KUALA LUMPUR "Alibaba has already rolled out an extension its Electronic World Trade Platform here in Malaysia to boost the e-commerce opportunities for small and medium enterprises, while Alibaba Cloud has opened a data center, and begun collaborating with local firms."
Huawei has also opened a data center and an innovation center in Malaysia.
In the longer term, this latest initiative, City Brain, will do much more than alleviate Malaysia's traffic woes.
HU XIAOMING, PRESIDENT ALIBABA CLOUD "Industrial partners, startups, research and academic institutes can all share the opportunity to use the creative tools on the City Brain platform to propel commercial and technology innovations, becoming the major engine for the overall digital transformation of Malaysia."
And if Alibaba and City Brain can achieve all that, as well as making rush hours more tolerable, Malaysians will surely rejoice. Rian Maelzer, CGTN, Kuala Lumpur.