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Interview: Nick Luo, VP, Yuanbao Tech

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Q.1 What role do you think the BAT has had on the development of digital insurance in China?

A: They play a leading role in digital insurance in China. As we know, Alibaba has the largest e-commerce website in China and it creates the return freight insurance allowing buyers to return the things they don’t like. Baidu uses its online map into the field of car insurance. Tencent uses WeChat to provide micro-health-care insurance. All these services are based on massive data. They have an advantage in their field.

Q.2 Recently, several other major internet have emerged including Meituan, Didi, and Tiktok. What role do you think these companies will play in the development of digital insurance in China?

A: These companies contribute to innovation in the digital insurance world. They all provide new insurance in their chosen field. For example, Didi provides passenger accident insurance for customers using Didi cars. This would not have emerged in the traditional insurance sector.

Q.3 The CBIRC (China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission) has discouraged China’s internet giants from becoming insurers or banks directly, instead preferring that they be technology enablers?

A: Maybe CBIRC was worried about the professional financial skills of the internet giant. Besides, it is not easy to supervise internet giants when the trade was based on electronic means.

Q.4 Tencent and Baidu, in particular, have contributed to digital insurance through their mobile payment services, with Xianghubao and WeSure being particularly good examples)? 

A: I would reframe the question. You refer to Tencent and Alibaba, but the products are the product was WeChat and Zhifubao respectively.

Tencent and Alibaba are outstanding internet companies in China. They created a mobile payment service and make our daily life more convenient. All our payments are in the digital world and this payment service really contributes to the development of digital insurance. It is also necessary, or else the development of digital insurance will slow down.

Q.5 It seems Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu have been more proactive in their pursuit of digital insurance than western counterparts Amazon, Google and Facebook. Why do you think this is?

A: I agree with you. First, their advantage is their massive user data. Second, the leaders of these companies can grasp the opportunity when others have not paid sufficient attention to this. This is the entrepreneurial spirit of China.

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