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Alibaba partners with Narita Airport to showcase Tokyo 2020 artwork

Technology firm Alibaba Cloud has formed a partnership with Narita Airport to showcase digital artworks by young Japanese artists related to the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

An “Alibaba Cloud Gallery” will launch in March 2020 and run until March 2021, and display digital art pieces in different Japanese art styles on screens along nine walkways in arrival terminals one and two. The goal is to enhance the experience of visitors to the Olympic Games via the medium of cloud technology.

Chris Tung, Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer, said during a press conference: “The Alibaba Cloud Gallery at Narita Airport, which consists of digital art presented by local Japanese artists, is the first of our efforts to elevate the experience of spectators travelling from across the globe to watch the Olympic Games.

“As this also marks our third anniversary as an Olympic worldwide partner, we are thrilled to be working with professional organisations such as Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to transform Tokyo 2020 into a digitally-advanced event, while keeping the essence of the Olympic spirit.”

Alibaba Cloud is a division of Chinese technology conglomerate Alibaba, which is also a TOP partner of the Olympics. Alibaba’s deal makes it the official partner for the International Olympic Committee in the field of “cloud services” and “e-commerce platform services”.

Alibaba has been using the Olympics to showcase its technological prowess and build its brand. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, it used its pavilion to showcase various innovations and a “vision for a future Olympic Games…run completely on the cloud”.

During an interview published on the IOC website, Tung said: “The Olympic Games provides a very important platform to support our globalisation strategy…We see the partnership as a platform to showcase our innovations and technologies to the world through each edition of the Olympic Games. It’s also an opportunity to showcase how digital technology can make a difference in terms of engaging young consumers in today’s world.”

Alibaba also unveiled a new logo for the games symbolising its theme of supporting future generations, saying it underlines the company’s commitment to making the Olympic Games more appealing and relevant to younger demographics.

Unique Song, the country manager of Alibaba Cloud Japan, said: “We aim to empower budding artists with our cloud resources. In the near future, we hope to introduce more leading AI tools and multimedia solutions that have been proven successful in Alibaba’s ecosystem – such as 3D modelling, smart video editing, and posture recognition to assist the youth in Japan with their inspiration and creation.”