The cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, Alibaba Cloud, today announced the launch of its Malaysia City Brain initiative, the first of its kind to be adopted overseas. This will be done in a joint effort with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the country’s digital economy development agency, and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), the city council in the capital, at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

In the recent years, Alibaba has piloted its cloud solution to solve traffic problems in its home city Hangzhou and in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in southern China. Last year, Dr. Wanli Min, data mining scientist of Alibaba Cloud told TechNode that its solution is applicable to any cities in other countries and is also aimed at helping cities in South East Asia and Europe. 

Malaysia is a country where 24.6% of its people are ethnic Chinese, who dominate business in the country, making it easier for a Chinese company to enter. To seize the e-commerce scene in the country, China’s top e-commerce firms Alibaba and were considering to invest in the Malaysian subsidiary of Korean online marketplace 11st last year October.

It’s not only on its city traffic that Alibaba is looking into. The tech giant has made its foray into Malaysia since last year, to help its trade and also to grow local startups. In 2017, Alibaba announced the partnership with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in March to work jointly to enable Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from global trade.

In November, Alibaba Group announced that the first Electronic World Trade Platform, or eWTP hub outside of China, which offers Malaysian SMEs the infrastructure for doing commerce with services encompassing e-commerce, logistics, cloud computing, mobile payment and talent training and also forms part of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) spearheaded by MDEC.

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. Developed on Alibaba Cloud’s cloud computing infrastructure, it is expected to support Malaysia’s digital transformation with cloud technology and artificial intelligence.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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