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InsurTech focus: Shui Di Chou

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Shui Di Chou has made a name for itself for offering its members financial relief should they be diagnosed with serious illnesses.

However, it is not a critical illness business, but an umbrella with three distinct businesses.

Shui Di Chou is a fundraising business that helps charities and individuals raise money to fund treatment.


Launched in July 2016, it was the brainchild of founder Shen Peng to raise funds – without taking any premium or fee – for its members, and operates as a mutual assistance scheme.

The commercial elements of the company are made up of Shui Di Hu Zu, a mutual health assistance programme and Shui Di Bao, a platform offering access to health insurance for those who wish to extend their cover beyond the limited state provision.

Designed to use mobile internet technology to provide a ‘pre-surveillance and post-aid assistance’ programme for major illness, it aims to help vulnerable groups establish personal health protection systems.

A qualified success

The company now has more than 270 million independent paying users.

As of September 2019, the platform had protected nearly 20 million users and more than 13 million households.

The Shui Di mutual assistance community offers low threshold, cost-effective ex-ante guarantee services, and mutual help and defence against diseases and accidents. As of the end of September 2019, it had allocated more than 900 million yuan in mutual assistance to more than 6,500 members.

The fundraising arm has already provided free fundraising services to more than 800,000 patients in severe financial difficulties to date. Fundraising has exceeded 10 billion yuan from more than 340 million donors.

Broadly popular 

An internet search for Shui Di Hu Zu will rank it is as first among mutual assistance schemes. It offers protection to more than 45 million users and has paid out more than 180 million yuan to 1,400 families that have required critical medical treatment.

The insurance arm, Shui Di Bao is designed to offer cost effective insurance and has partnerships with 40 domestic insurance companies offering around 50 different models.

It has amassed more than six million users and has become the number one distribution platform for health insurance for many of the domestic insurance companies it has partnered with.

Distribution by social media

The formation of this fundraising/mutual assistance/insurance company has created a ‘closed loop’ attracting users through the offer of funds or mutual assistance and generating leads for its insurance business.

The business is sticky, as the cost of medical expenses is high in China, but also because Shui Di uses the WeChat ecosystem as its distribution platform.

Groups like QQ and Weibo among others are used to encourage people to participate in helping the poor, while educating users about the cost of medical treatment and the benefits of insurance.

The social media element makes for far reaching engagement that provides a consistent relationship between the company and the users. Within the first two years, Shui Di had more than 160 million.

Shui Di Hu Zu currently has two major themed mutual aid plans: one is the anti cancer mutual aid plan, while the other is the accidental mutual aid plan.

Members in the anti cancer mutual assistance plan are grouped according to age, and these groups are offered access to Shui Di  Bao insurance products based on their grouping, and other own personal needs.

Satisfying the investors

Shui Di Company has received more than 1.8 billion yuan from multiple rounds of investment from internet companies and investment institutions such as Tencent, Boyu Capital, CICC Capital, Gao Rong Capital, Lanchi Ventures, Innovation Works, Meituan Reviews, Zhenge Fund, IDG Capital, etc.

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