Alibaba is going to turn the historic city of Macau, and world’s largest gambling center, into a smart city of the future via the services of Alibaba Cloud, it has announced today. Healthcare, transport, city governance, tourism, and talent development will be the focuses of the project that will begin this year, according to a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Macau exchanged in Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR).

The partnership will last four years with phase one running 2017-19 and will develop cloud computing technologies in Macau as a platform for the project, in a similar way to the scheme Alibaba launched in its mainland hometown in October 2016—Hangzhou City Brain. Alibaba would not disclose to us the size of the investment

Later stages are expected to cover environmental protection, economic forecasting and customs clearance, a somewhat meddlesome issue for the Pearl Delta Region straddling the three customs zones of Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...