Alibaba to sponsor the Olympics until 2028

Alibaba has signed on to become a major sponsor of the Olympic Games after inking a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that will run through 2028, the company announced on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Chinese e-commerce giant will become the official e-commerce and cloud services partner of the Olympics and joins a roster of sponsors that includes 12 other big names such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola.

Thomas Bach, president of the IOC said, "This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028. This is a historic strategic partnership in the digital world. It will transform the global Olympic movement."

"We share the same values and vision as the IOC," Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba said. "Alibaba can bring a lot of quality to the Olympics with cloud technology."

He added that the deal would help the company take further steps in becoming "a global company". "We are founded in China but are built for the world," Ma said.

The next three Olympic Games will all be held in Asia - the Pyeongchang winter games in 2018, summer games in Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2022.

While no financial details have been disclosed, sources from the IOC quoted by Reuters have said that major sponsors typically spend US$100mn for two games - one winter, and one summer.