China:Online insurer ZhongAn to accelerate technology innovation
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance, China’s first online insurance company, has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, ZhongAn Information and Technology Services, to develop a new fintech ecosystem integrating technological research with financial innovation.
The newly founded company will explore technology innovation through its “ABCD” plan, focusing on four main areas: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Data Driven.
Mr Chen Jin, CEO of ZhongAn, said: “ZhongAn has built up two pillars: being a connector and a stabiliser. As an Internet-based company, we have launched over 300 insurance products to create an ecosystem and better meet the needs of our clients, while minimising financial risks. With ZhongAn Technology, we are introducing our third pillar: being an accelerator of technology. Not only will we develop technology, but our aim is to make technology become a commercial driving force, to put it at the core of our business ecosystem.”
Mr Jiang Xing, Chief Technology Officer of ZhongAn and Chairman of ZhongAn Technology, said: “We aim to be an accelerator for both finance and healthcare sectors.”
Headquartered in Shanghai, ZhongAn Technology has already developed a series of innovative products in a wide range of fields including insurance, consumer finance, asset management and healthcare. A recent example is a blockchain-based open platform for insurance transactions to facilitate the growth of an insurance industry ecosystem. This highly secured platform connects business partners and data masters through blockchain technology. The open platform has much lower technical doorsill and threshold in development and maintenance, reducing barriers for business cooperation, and improving operating efficiency.
ZhongAn Technology, together with more than 20 business partners from various sectors including banking, insurance, construction & decoration, consumer finance, logistics, payment, security, healthcare and retail, have established Shanghai Blockchain Enterprise Development Alliance, the first industry-driven blockchain-focused body in China to promote the development and business applications of blockchain technology.
ZhongAn Technology has also partnered with Fudan University School of Computer Sciences and Technology to set up a “blockchain and information security laboratory”. This is the first joint laboratory between a university and a company focusing on blockchain technology in China.
ZhongAn was founded in 2013 by Ant Financial, Tencent and Ping An, as China’s first online-only insurance company. Over the past three years, it has attracted 460 million users and issued over 5.8 billion insurance policies.