Alibaba, Tencent and Chinese insurance company Ping An officially launched Zhong An, an online insurance company jointly established by the three, on November 11th.
The company has obtained the very first license in China for operating online insurance business. The first products, expected to be released in December, will be for e-commerce and mobile payments, according to Yi Han, CEO of Zhong An.
Jack Ma, now chairman of Alibaba Group, said such an Internet company can offer every service conventional insurance companies have done. He thinks the most important for Zhong An is to build a database which can be leveraged by all kinds of companies in the future.
Ping An, one of the largest insurance companies in China, joined the trio for the company believes tech companies will soon come up with Internet-based financial products and grab market shares from conventional players.
Ali Finance, Alibaba’s financial arm that is built on top of Alipay, holds a 19.9% stake in Zhong An, being the biggest shareholder. tencent, Ping An and a third hold 15% each. Other shareholders include Ctrip, the leading online travel service, who has a 5% stake in it. The company is based in Shanghai.