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Alibaba becomes official partner of Hangzhou Asian Games 2022

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The 19th Asian Games organising committee has signed up the Alibaba Group as official partners of Hangzhou 2022.

“We hope Alibaba will use its advanced information technology and cloud services to empower the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, enabling athletes, officials, media reporters and millions of viewers from across Asia to feel the unique charm of the Hangzhou Asian Games," said Chen Weiqiang, Vice Mayor of Hangzhou and Deputy Secretary General of the organising committee, at a signing ceremony held in Hangzhou on December 10.

Alibaba Group and its affiliate Alipay signed up to become official partners of the Hangzhou Asian Games at the ceremony.

Hangzhou Vice Mayor Chen signed cooperation deals with Alibaba Chief Marketing Officer Dong Benhong and Ant Finance's Chief Marketing Officer Peng Yijie.

Zhang Yong, CEO of Alibaba, said that Alibaba would provide help for the organising committee in the form of information technology, cloud services, financial technology and ecological preservation.

Alipay will also work to make the games as digital as possible, Zhang added.

During the games, a mini-app will be launched providing 18 intelligent services for visitors, including buying tickets, booking hotels and searching for tourist destinations.

Hundreds of digital service stations outside Hangzhou will be set up to meet the online and offline demand for game-watching, shopping and traveling.

The signing ceremony also saw the launch of the "public forest of the Hangzhou Asian Games" on Ant Forest, which was launched on the Alipay mobile app by Ant Financial Services Group in August 2016.

Ant Forest is designed to reduce carbon emissions by giving users points every time they walk, take public transport or do a variety of other low-carbon activities through their Alipay account.

OCA joins inauguration ceremony for first Asian Games merchandise store in Hangzhou

The Honorary Life Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Raja Randhir Singh, took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first official merchandise store of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday.

Raja Randhir, who was accompanied by the OCA’s Director of International and NOC Relations, Vinod Tiwari, said the merchandise would be a good promotional tool for the next Asian Games.

“It is very nice to see such an attractive shop in such a popular and historic area of Hangzhou,” said Raja Randhir, referring to the shop in Hefang Street.

“Some 20 million people visit this tourist district every year so the location of the official merchandise shop will draw a lot of attention to the Asian Games in 2022.

“Equally, the merchandise is very distinctive and will be a good souvenir, not only of Hangzhou but of the Asian Games.”

The Vice Mayor of Hangzhou, Chen Weiqiang, and the Deputy Secretary General of organising committee HAGOC, Mao Genhong, were also in attendance at the inauguration ceremony, which attracted many onlookers on a sunny Sunday morning.

Raja Randhir was given a tour of the store and viewed the attractive and colourful scarves, special issue postage stamps, coins, pens, pin badges, thermal cups, fans and Chinese jade seals.

The OCA guests were in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province in east China, for the 1,000 days countdown ceremony and launch of the slogan on Sunday evening in a ceremony to be attended by the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Gou Zhongwen.

 The OCA’s 19th Asian Games will run from September 10-25, 2022, with around 10,000 athletes in 40 sports.

Japanese PM Abe attends opening ceremony of new national stadium in Tokyo

The new National Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer will take place, is complete and has been officially opened at a ceremony attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Completely rebuilt for the 2020 Games, the stadium is a symbol of great pride in Japan, as it was used as the main stadium for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. Following the Games, it will be used for sporting and cultural events.

The 68,000-seat capacity stadium will also host events in athletics and football.

“We believe the stadium will become an irreplaceable legacy – a place that will allow people to spend healthy and fulfilling days enjoying sport for another 50 years or even longer,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto. “With this in mind, we will continue our preparations for hosting the best Games ever.”

Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the stadium complements the surrounding area, which includes a large green space known as the Outer Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine. Envisioned to be a “living tree”, the exterior of the stadium consists of multi-layered eaves made of wood from each of the 47 prefectures in Japan. More than 47,000 small- to medium-sized trees were planted within the area.

The first event to be held in the stadium will be the Japan Football Association’s 99th Emperor's Cup final on January 1, 2020.

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