Alibaba signs up to drive Malaysia's digital transformation, starting with Kuala Lumpur


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

January 29, 2018 | 4 min read

Alibaba Cloud has collaborated with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), the city council in the capital, to launch the Malaysia City Brain initiative at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur today.

The initiative was developed by Alibaba Cloud, the Chinese ecommerce giant’s cloud computing division and is the first time it is being implemented outside of China. It will be used to support Malaysia’s digital transformation with cloud technology and artificial intelligence.

The City Brain initiative also offers a suite of acquisition, integration, and analysis of big and heterogeneous data generated by a diversity of sources in urban spaces through video and image recognition, data mining and machine learning technology. The power and functionality of the City Brain will enable Malaysian urban planners and city officials to upgrade their city governance and decision-making to turn the city into an intelligent one.


The initiative was developed by Alibaba Cloud and is the first time it is being used outside of China.

In the first phase of the program, KL will roll out the City Brain for use in traffic management to improve mobility in the city to optimise the flow of vehicles and traffic signals by calculating the time to reach intersections. It will also be able to generate structured summaries of data, such as traffic volume and speed in specific lanes, which can be used to facilitate other tasks including incident detection.

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In addition, the initiative can connect with various urban management systems including emergency dispatch, ambulance call, traffic command, and traffic light control. By integrating and analysing real-time data generated from these systems, City Brian can optimise urban traffic flow such as identifying the quickest routes for emergency vehicles to arrive at the scene within the shortest time frame.

“Cloud computing, data technology and AI has become fundamental tools for all companies and organizations to operate effectively. Building on this partnership, we are happy to see Malaysia become the first country outside of China to adopt the City Brain,” said Simon Hu, senior vice president of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba Cloud.

“Through the program, we aim to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors with the tools to enhance efficiency, advance innovation and succeed in the digital age. For Alibaba Cloud, this is the true meaning of inclusive technology.”

Alibaba’s future plans for City Brain includes providing enterprises, start-ups, entrepreneurs, universities, and research institutions to have the opportunity to access and leverage its artificial intelligence tools to drive innovation.


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