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Tencent strengthens its positioning within insurance

In View Summary

Since the Zhong An IPO, Tencent has been diluting its position in Zhong An and adding additional positions within insurance to further bolster its ability to capitalise on the impending digital insurance era. To this end, the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission has recently approved the functioning of Weimin Insurance Agency in which Tencent holds a 60% stake.

The approval gives Weimin, and by extension Tencent, the ability to transact insurance products as well as conduct basic loss adjustment services and authorize claims. Crucially, Weimin also has access to WeChat and QQ’s 900 mn user base and Weimins product range will presumably will be incorporated into WeChat Pay and its broader ecosystem.

Insurance analysts have remarked of Tencent’s recent insurance investments that big internet companies will not miss the opportunities brought by the demand for fintech services, particularly internet-based insurance. Internet companies aim to hold core assets, which are customer resources. They are not going to just stay as distributors. More moves will be made to fulfill demand in the entire supply chain of the insurance market.

Reported Benefits

Benefits to customers

  1.  Faster authentication of insurance purchases through WeChat as Tencent controls both WeChat in addition to now holding a license to transact insurance through WeChat.
  2. Access to a broader range of insurance products within WeChat.
  3. Convenience for WeChat users.

Benefits to insurers

  1. Improved customer engagement.
  2. Increased reach through WeChat ability to target specific segemnts.
  3. Improved customer experience.

The Digital Insurer's View

WeChat’s dominance in China has presented a conundrum for its parent company Tencent. Specifcially, although the opportunity to mine WeChat user behaviour and translation data is obvious, WeChat’s digital insurance ambitions will need to foster underwriting expertise that lies outside its core competency.

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