Alipay Supports Over 100 Million Digital Torchbearers to Join the First-Ever Digital Cauldron Lighting for Asian Games

25 September 2023

The Hangzhou Asian Games commenced with a grand evening opening ceremony on September 23, featuring a captivating blend of Chinese traditions, culture, and digital innovations at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

Alipay, the Official Prestige Partner and technology provider of the Hangzhou Asian Games, played a pivotal role in this historic event. Alipay facilitated the participation of over 100 million digital torchbearers in the first-ever digital cauldron lighting in Asian Games history during the ceremony. These digital torchbearers came together as a unified digital torchbearer avatar, collectively illuminating the cauldron alongside Olympic swimming champion Wang Shun.

The Asian Games Digital Torchbearer Online Relay campaign was launched on June 15, 2023, marking the 100-day countdown to the Games. Participants could become "Asian Games Digital Torchbearers" by accessing the "Smart Hangzhou 2022" platform on Alipay and passing on the flame and spirit of the Asian Games throughout Asia.

Remarkably, over 100 million users eagerly signed up to be part of the digital torchbearer program via Smart Hangzhou 2022, which serves as the first all-inclusive digital service platform for a major international multi-sport event.

Following the cauldron lighting ceremony, digital torchbearers were bestowed with a special participation certificate, securely stored on the blockchain to commemorate this extraordinary moment.

Sha Xiaolan, the chief director and chief producer of the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony, expressed, “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.”

In an impressive display of inclusivity, Alipay's engineers conducted thorough testing on over 300 types of mobile phones to ensure that even devices manufactured eight years ago could partake in the digital interaction. This achievement was made possible through Alipay's proprietary technologies, including the Galacean interactive engine, AI avatars, cloud services, and blockchain solutions.

Beyond the digital cauldron lighting, tens of thousands of on-site spectators engaged in interactive experiences facilitated by Alipay's AR and AI technologies. These experiences included summoning the official mascots on their smartphones and virtually releasing lanterns to convey good wishes.