Softbank to assist ZhongAn’s international push

Big-name investor trusts insurer’s foreign expansion efforts despite post-IPO struggles

Softbank to assist ZhongAn’s international push

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Softbank’s Vision Fund will back Chinese online insurer ZhongAn’s efforts to expand internationally, through an investment of an undisclosed amount.

The Japanese telecommunications and technology conglomerate made the investment in ZhongAn International, the global business unit of the insurer, which is still struggling to find stability after a blockbuster US$1.5 billion IPO last year was followed by disappointing financial results, TechCrunch reported.

ZhongAn is considered China’s first digital insurer, and offers various insurance products covering lifestyle, consumer finance, health, travel and automotive. The firm, which is backed by industry heavyweights Ping An, Tencent, and Alibaba, created ZhongAn International in December 2017 to search for overseas business opportunities.

“We are pleased to announce this partnership which will allow us to explore new and innovative ways to serve more companies and customers outside of China,” said Jeffrey Chen, ZhongAn Online CEO, in a statement. “SoftBank is an important business partner and we believe this collaboration will significantly boost our technology solutions businesses.”

Despite the recent setbacks for ZhongAn, it is still trusted by Vision Fund, which is one of the world’s largest technology investment funds, with resources exceeding US$90 billion. Meanwhile, Softbank indicated that it wants to harness ZhongAn’s technology and network to expand to several Asian markets, but it has yet to lay out concrete plans.


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