Saturday, June 22, 2024

Alibaba’s chat app DingTalk sees breakthrough after Asian Games adoption

HANGZHOU — Chinese tech firm Alibaba Cloud thinks there’s still room for a new messaging app, as it hopes to make its DingTalk communications platform the next big chat app to sweep the online world.

Aliababa Cloud — the cloud unit of Chinese tech behemoth Alibaba Group – has grand plans for DingTalk, its former internal communications tool which it eventually spun off into a full collaboration platform that is now being used on a large scale at the ongoing Asian Games being held in this cosmopolitan city.

Alex Li, vice president for DingTalk at Alibaba Cloud, said in a press briefing with Asian reporters that the company is aiming to grow and develop further the chat app once it has gathered the lessons and feedback from its users during the Asian Games.

“We intend to eventually launch it as a separate company although we will continue to work Alibaba,” said Li, who disclosed that DingTalk now has about 23 million users, majority of which are based in China.

Like most communications platforms, Li said DingTalk currently has two versions – a free model for the public and a paid type for enterprises.

He said the company is particularly bullish for the adoption of enterprise edition since DingTalk has already been proven by Alibaba workers themselves when the app still functioned as an internal collaboration tool.

To enable its growth and expansion outside of its homebase in China, Li said DingTalk now supports 21 languages.

For now, Li said the company is focused on the Asian Games where thousands of participants are using it as their main communications platform.

The version it rolled out for the regional sports event, DingTalk for Asian Games, is actually an enhanced edition of DingTalk designed to improve operational efficiency of the Games.

DingTalk for Asian Games is a cloud-native digital solution deployed and managed on the cloud that serves as a one-stop collaboration tool connecting stakeholders across all stages of the sports event lifecycle – from organizers and suppliers to volunteers and venue operators.

“Through the full cooperation between the Asian Games Organizing Committee and DingTalk, DingTalk for Asian Games has achieved the mega collaboration of ‘organization online, communication online and business online’ for participants across levels, departments and regions,” stated Ge Zhang, deputy director of radio, television and information technology department of the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.

“DingTalk for Asian Games is not only the crystallization of Hangzhou’s digital economy, but also a valuable asset and experience Hangzhou would like to dedicate to future international large-scale sports events.”

To simplify an otherwise complex event organization, DingTalk for Asian Games offers a flat organizational structure where tens of thousands of staff and volunteers can identify and communicate with each other and external partners as well as share information and set up meetings.

Leveraging Alibaba Cloud Machine Translation services based on its leading deep learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, DingTalk for Asian Games offers intelligent real-time translation in 14 languages including Chinese, English, Japanese and Thai, improving communications between staff and participants from abroad.

Optimized for smartphone usage, DingTalk for Asian Games also delivers instant audio and visual connections between users and the main operation center (MOC) of the Games. This allows the MOC to reach all staff and venues to accelerate decision-making and problem-solving.

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