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Business deals

SoftBank and Indonesia's Lippo partner on smart city development

Japanese conglomerate brings AI, facial recognition and IoT tech

From left, John Riady, Lippo Karawaci's CEO, and Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBank's head of global business strategy, sign a partnership agreement in Jakarta on Nov. 28. (Photo by Jun Suzuki)

JAKARTA -- In a partnership of sprawling conglomerates, Japan's Softbank Corp. on Thursday announced it will work with the real estate arm of Indonesia's Lippo Group to promote smart city projects.

SoftBank and Lippo Karawaci, which is developing a township near Jakarta, plan to take advantage of artificial intelligence and internet of things technologies in the community. By early next year, SoftBank aims to offer services to residents using facial recognition and image analysis systems.

The Japanese tech group will also analyze traffic flows and offer smart road management, including the capability to determine the causes of accidents. It is considering managing water services using AI and big data as well.

"SoftBank will utilize its technology deployment insights to introduce advanced technologies to shopping malls and other commercial facilities, hospitals, and the entire Lippo Village area," Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBank's vice president and head of global business strategy, said at a signing ceremony. "Through this, we aim to develop Lippo Village as a smart city model case in Southeast Asia."

John Riady, CEO of Lippo Karawaci, told reporters that the partnership with SoftBank would enhance "safety and convenience" for residents.

Back in 2018, Lippo Group subsidiary Link Net and SoftBank signed an agreement on the development of IoT. Now the groups are expanding their cooperation.

Lippo started developing the Karawaci area near the capital in the 1990s. What was once a swamp is now home to residential neighborhoods, hospitals, commercial facilities and schools -- and nearly 200,000 people.

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