Chinese Insurance Giant Ping An Bets on Blockchain, AI, Cloud in Fintech Push
Ping An Insurance, the largest insurer by market value in mainland China and second-largest life insurer in terms of premiums, is betting on technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud to pursue its fintech push.
At the firm’s Investor Day in Shenzhen last week, themed Core Finance, some of Ping An’s top executives delivered presentations and analysis of Ping An’s value, retail banking business transformation, risk management of investment, and technology strategy in life insurance.
Jason Yao, CFO and chief actuary of the group, said:
“We will further improve the strategy of Finance + Technology and pursue Finance + Ecosystem.
“By leveraging five key technologies, namely AI, blockchain, cloud, big data, and security, we will keep improving efficiency, lowering costs, optimizing user experience, and strengthening risk control, to enhance competitiveness.”
Ping An’s Finance + Technology platform, part of the firm’s “pan financial assets” strategy, offers customers insurance, banking and asset management.
Under its “pan healthcare” strategy, the company uses a Finance + Ecosystem platform to offer Internet users five ecosystems covering financial services, healthcare, auto services, real estate services and Smart City services.
Ping An has been an early adopter of blockchain technology. In August, the group jointly cooperated with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to build an international trade financing platform based on blockchain technology.
With 179 million customers and 485 million Internet users, Ping An is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.
The firm’s wholly owned fintech offshoot, Ping An Technology, develops and operates the mission critical platforms and services that support the insurance, banking, investment and internet businesses of the group. It is also the technology incubator for the group.
From this wellspring came startups including peer-to-peer lender Lufax Holding, healthcare portal Good Doctor, also known as Ping An Healthcare and Technology, and Ping An Healthcare And Technology, a mobile app for booking hospital visits.
Good Doctor is the country’s largest healthcare and online medical platform. In 2017, the company posted a net profit of 10.8 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion).
Good Doctor, the conglomerate’s first Hong Kong-listed fintech spinoff, raised US$1.12 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) in April.
Lufax Holdings, which became profitable for the first time in 2017, is planning a Hong Kong listing this year that could value the spinoff at about US$60 billion.
Earlier this year, Ping An unveiled plans to invest up to US$15.8 billion in fintech in the next ten years.