Assaulting Chinese firms at international sports events cannot strangle their growth
Published: Dec 05, 2021 11:59 PM
Alibaba Cloud Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Under a virulent trend of politicizing international sports events, western politicians already started playing up alleged "concerns" about Chinese sponsors at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, even though the games are more than two years away.  

Citing groundless cliché "security concerns", some French politicians are attempting to prevent Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba, one of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s 13 worldwide partners, from "hosting and accessing sensitive data" during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, AFP reported.

"The personal and contact details of the tens of thousands of people who are accredited for the Games will be housed in the Alibaba cloud," the report said, citing anonymous sources. 

First and foremost, Alibaba is one of The Olympic Partners (TOPs) for the IOC and the Paris Games in 2024. The sponsorship, in fact, does not depend on some ill-disposed French politicians and it would be impossible for the IOC to compromise on such an obvious attempt to politicize sporting events.

The IOC and Alibaba Group inked in January 2017 a long-term partnership lasting through 2028. By joining TOP worldwide sponsorship program, Alibaba became the Official "Cloud Services" and "E-Commerce Platform Services" Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel, according to a statement by the IOC.

Clearly, Alibaba is in a good position to cooperate with the IOC in the digital era. In addition, Chinese firms have offered increasing contributions to international sports events in recent years, and behind them stands the firms' growing strength and the unrivalled Chinese market which is of great significance for the sustainable development of sports events.

In the meantime, though it is highly unlikely for Alibaba's partnership with the IOC to be scrapped, it is true that such hyped "concerns" over firms or institutes related to China are spreading to wider fields poisoning the environment for normal and mutually beneficial international exchanges.

From the economy to culture and sports, some Western politicians and media outlets have been trying to find any connection with China to launch another anti-China political stunt to be on the spotlight.

Behind such moves, there is simply no evidence or reasonable logic and politicians from different countries only take the same side when there are interests involved. 

As for Alibaba Cloud, it is not the first time it faces vicious attacks on the global stage. As one of the leading players in the cloud service industry, the company will see stronger headwinds in the future, especially as the sector has now been increasingly dominated by industrial giants from China and the US.

Alibaba, as well as other Chinese tech firms, need to shore up their expanding strategies to cope with possible political challenges overseas. Taking cloud services as an example, Alibaba Cloud should enhance its efforts in localization when setting up businesses in other countries or regions, integrating with and facilitating the growth of local industries. Establishing a win-win cooperation is vital for long-term partnerships worldwide and such malicious assaults launched by some anti-China politicians will not stunt the growth of Chinese firms in the long run.

As for other countries and regions, letting the US to be the hegemon will not be in line with their essential interest, including France. 

The article was compiled based on an interview with Ma Jihua, a veteran industry analyst.