Ping An to keep investing US$1bn on the internet annually

Continued investment in online capabilities brings increased profits and business diversification, says executive

Ping An to keep investing US$1bn on the internet annually

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Ping An Insurance, China’s second largest insurer in terms of premiums, will continue investing around US$1 billion every year on development of internet capabilities as it seeks to expand its fintech and health insurance businesses and diversify, according to one of its executives.
The insurer was founded in 1988 by its current chairman Peter Ma Mingzhe and currently has 1.1 million agents in its sales team.
In recent years, the insurer expanded into the online sphere, with online sales of health, property, and motor insurance products. It also established Lufax, an internet lending and wealth management platform.

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“Over the past five years we have spent about 1% of our revenue every year to invest in new technology, which equals about US$1 billion every year,” Jessica Tan, Ping An’s chief operating officer, told the South China Morning Post. “We will continue the investment in coming years as we want our fintech and health care businesses to be equally as important as our core insurance business in the long term.”
Investment in the internet has brought an income boost to the company, with a 15% rise in net profits for 2016 exceeding expectations. Higher sales and a one-time gain from restructuring have also contributed to the increase.
According to Tan, 22% of new customers come from the internet, and cross-selling between business lines is a huge help. Ping An currently has 346 million online users on its various platforms, which provides information and deliver products in various areas, such as finance, insurance, health care, and even real estate and cars in the future.
The company also seeks to expand into online real estate and car sales and has begun purchasing several car and real estate comparison websites. It plans to link up with carmakers and property developers to give their clients better deals.
“When you have more products it helps you retain customers who stay with you for a longer time,” Tan said.

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Ping An sets sights on Japan in diversification bid
Ping An Insurance’s annual profits up 15%
Online insurance platform receives US$14 million investment

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