Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding said it introduced a cloud-based transmission technology for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics , enabling broadcasters to live-stream the games to billions of viewers around the world. Powered by Alibaba Cloud , the new transmission system called Live Cloud is being widely used for the first time by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) as a standard service to licensed broadcasters, the Hangzhou-based company said on Thursday. OBS was established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001 to serve as the host broadcaster for all Olympic sporting events. Live Cloud represents “only a fraction of the cost compared to other transmission methods” because licensed broadcasters receive live footage through the public cloud infrastructure, said an Alibaba statement released on Thursday. Alibaba is the parent of the South China Morning Post . The OBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the expense involved in using the new system. There are more than 20 broadcast organisations that are receiving ultra high-definition or high-definition signals via Live Cloud, according to Alibaba. The cloud system embeds a multi-camera replay system for freeze-frame slow motion replays. It also captures and compiles live multi-angle footage of the curling and speedskating events for real-time processing and editing. The OBS is expected to generate more than 6,000 hours of content from this year’s Winter Olympics, which is expected to close on Sunday. That number includes 900 hours of live sports and coverage of related events such as the opening and closing ceremonies, according to the OBS website. Live Cloud went through a successful “proof-of-concept” trial with one broadcaster during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics last year, according to OBS chief technical officer Sotiris Salamouris. Cloud computing services enable companies to buy, sell, lease or distribute over the internet a range of software and other digital resources as an on-demand service, just like electricity from a power grid. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt international travel, broadcasters are faced with the challenge of sending technical professionals to deploy dedicated telecommunications lines on site at Olympic venues “With the use of cloud, [broadcasters] are now able to cover events using remote workers,” Salamouris said. Alibaba’s broadcast innovation ramps up its efforts as a major sponsor of the Olympic Games under a deal with the IOC that runs until 2028. The company, which has been a partner since 2017, is committed to contribute cloud computing infrastructure and cloud services, including supporting data analytics requirements. Alibaba Cloud is mainland China’s leading cloud infrastructure services provider, with a 38.3 per cent share of market spending in the third quarter last year, according to data from research firm Canalys. Ranked behind it are the cloud units of Huawei Technologies Co and Tencent Holdings , with market shares of 17 per cent and 16.6 per cent, respectively.