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JD acquires 30% stake in Allianz Insurance for $71m

By Chen Liubing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-25 13:35
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JD.com shows its smart technology in e-commerce to the visitors at the 2nd World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin on May 18, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the country's banking and insurance regulator, gave green light to China's e-commerce giant JD to invest 483 million yuan ($71.12 million) into Allianz China General Insurance Company Ltd for a 30 percent stake in the company on July 24.

The investment, though smaller than the previously announced 537 million yuan in April, will still make JD the second-largest shareholder in Allianz China General Insurance Company Ltd, furthering its push into the financial sector.

Three other Chinese companies, China Sinda, Shenzhen Huijing Tongda, and Shanghai Snow Light Capital will take 12.4 percent, 4.27 percent, and 3.33 percent stake respectively in Allianz China after the transaction.

The logo of German insurer Allianz stands on the company's office buildings at Treptowers in Berlin, Feb 23, 2010. [Photo/VCG]

Founded in 2003, the China unit of global insurance giant Allianz SE, with registered capital increasing from 805 million yuan to 1.61 billion yuan after the transaction, will become a Sino-Germany joint venture with the German part owning 50 percent of stake.

Richard Liu Qiangdong, CEO and founder of JD, has shown for many years great interest in entering the online insurance market. The company signed a cooperation agreement with the Sichuan Provincial Government in 2015 to set up a JD internet property insurance company, but no further details were revealed. JD also invested 80 million yuan in the A-round financing of internet car insurance platform Ok Car Insurance two years ago.

In addition to JD, China’s internet tycoons such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu have made moves to tap the online insurance sector.

In 2013, Alibaba, Tencent and Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd jointly established Zhong’an Insurance.

Baidu, Allianz, and Hillhouse Capital announced plan to set up an internet insurance company in 2015.

Tencent established Hetai Life Insurance Co Ltd in July, 2015, which started business officially last year after receiving regulatory approval.

Ant Financial of Alibaba invested 833 million yuan for a 51 percent stake in Cathay Insurance, a Taiwan-based property insurance company in July 2016.

Wesure, an insurance platform in which Tencent holds 57.8 percent stake, got regulatory approval in October last year.

Moreover, e-commerce giant Suning’s insurance company was approved in 2014. China’s largest on-demand services platform Meituan Group also entered the insurance sector in February this year, after its subsidiary, Chongqing Jincheng Huno Insurance Brokerage Co Ltd received approval.

According to the 2017 China Internet Finance Annual Report released by the National Internet Finance Association of China, the industry competition will be intensified and diversified in the future, as the integrating of insurance and internet sectors. Cross-shareholding and multi-stakeholder partnerships will become a new normal.

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