Ant Financial-backed agricultural insurer gets regulator’s nod

First company to leverage parent group’s fintech and e-commerce strengths

Ant Financial-backed agricultural insurer gets regulator’s nod

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The first “agri-insurtech” firm in China has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Nonglian Zhongxin Technology is a joint venture between China United Insurance Holding and a subsidiary of Ant Financial, the world’s most valuable fintech firm and an affiliate of the Alibaba Group.

The newly-licenced firm aims to meet the growing demand for insurance products tailored for the rapidly modernizing Chinese agricultural sector, reports China Money Network. The company will provide one-stop services, including insurance, financing, and supply chain services to the growing number of tech-intensive agricultural companies in the country.

The joint venture will benefit from Ant Financial and Alibaba’s expansive resources, especially the growing number of rural sellers utilising Alibaba’s Taobao consumer-to-consumer platform. These will help easier distribution of insurance and other financial services to rural agricultural firms.

Agricultural insurance is a fast-growing industry in China, with premiums growing from RMB5.18 billion (US$790.2 million) in 2007 to RMB41.72 billion (US$6.36 billion) in 2016, an over eight-fold increase, according to CIRC data.

This is not Ant Financial’s first foray into agriculture. In December, it announced that it would invest in CFPA Microfinance Management, a firm that provides financial support for impoverished rural farmers through small loans. Ant is now the second-largest shareholder in the company.

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