China’s first online insurance company ZhongAn has announced the establishment of a a wholly-owned subsidiary – ZhongAn Information and Technology Services Co., Ltd. to explore Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Big Data – but not only for the insurance industry – they are also aiming at providing Blockchain and other technology solutions for the financial and healthcare industries.
ZhongAn Technology will roll out its services on a Blockchain cloud platform called Anlink.
Xing Jiang, Chief Technology Officer of ZhongAn and Chairman of ZhongAn Technology, commented on the new company:
“With the creation of ZhongAn Technology, we are developing a new fintech ecosystem, integrating technological research with financial innovation. We aim to be an accelerator for both finance and healthcare sectors.”
Jin Chen, Chief Executive Officer of ZhongAn, added:
“ZhongAn has built up two pillars: being a connector and a stabilizer. 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 minimizing 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.”
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 accumulated 460 million users and issued over 5.8 billion insurance policies, including millions of young individuals purchasing their first insurance policy. Its rapid growth and success has made it a pioneer in China’sfintech industry, recognized as a top 5 Global Fintech Innovator by KPMG-H2 Ventures for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016.
ZhongAn Technology has already developed a series of innovative products covering 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 technological platform has much lower technical doorsill and threshold in development and maintenance, reducing barriers for business cooperation, and improving operation efficiency.
ZhongAn Technology, together with more than 20 business partners from various sectors including banking, insurance, construction & decoration, consumer finance, logistics, payment, security, healthcare, 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 adopted the technology of Ethereum, the Blockchain-based decentralized network, in its platform.
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, commented:
“I am delighted that ZhongAn Technology has integrated our technology to build an open platform and that the Chinese insurance industry is actively exploring the applications of Blockchain technology. I hope that more and more Chinese companies can tap into this field and help develop this new area.”
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.