Financial technology based on blockchain alongside artificial intelligence-driven traffic control, the Internet of Things were some of the things that were being discussed amongst Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad and Alibaba’s co-founder, Jack Ma at Alibaba’s Hangzhou headquarters.
The five day trip of the technologically inclined 93 old P.M in China was being observed with a keen eye by the media and public. In conversation with Jack Ma, the P.M acknowledged that Malaysia was keen to adopt a wide variety of technologies in order to fasten its economic growth. He spoke about Alibaba during a briefing that lasted over an hour in which he mentioned, “What you have achieved is quite fantastic … we hope to benefit, especially in the area of marketing our products to the world”.
Alibaba, which owns South China Morning Post, launched their new office in Malaysia nearby the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in June, establishing a major logistics hub. In the various briefs that the Malaysian P.M attended, he was briefed about the initiatives that Kuala Lumpur would be integrating to improve the state of the city. Among these was the use of artificial intelligence in order to solve the issue of gridlock traffic by utilising the input received from traffic camera infrastructure.
Mahathir Mohamad was also joined by a delegation for the trip that included his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Trade & Industry Minister Darell Leiking who seemed quite keen and attentive while Alibaba’s head executives lead presentations.
The Malaysian P.M was interested the most in understanding how technology could be used to determine at the Malaysian borders to assess if Chinese travellers visiting had enough funds for the length of the trip during a presentation on digital payments by Ant Financial President, Eric Jing.
During these presentations, Jack Ma seemed to be quite interested in the advancements of blockchain based financial technology but didn’t share the same enthusiasm when it came to Bitcoin.