The Hangzhou Asian Games began this weekend with the evening opening ceremony taking place. Alipay serves as an official prestige partner and technology provider of the games.

The opening ceremony blended both Chinese traditions as well as digital innovations. As part of this Alipay supported over 100m 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 Olympic champion and swimmer Wang Shun.

The Asian Games digital torchbearer online relay campaign was launched on June 15, 2023, the 100-day countdown to the Games. Participants searched 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. After the cauldron lighting ceremony, digital torchbearers received a special certificate of participation, which will be stored on blockchain to mark the occasion.

Inclusion for everyone

Sha Xiaolan, the chief director and chief producer for the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony, said: “We wanted an inclusive cauldron lighting ceremony, virtually and in person, to share in the Olympic spirit. 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.

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By GlobalData