The US-China trade agreement signed on January 15 confirmed China will remove the foreign equity cap in the life, health and pension sectors for US insurers, no later than April 1.
The announcement caused some confusion amongst market players, according to Bloomberg. Many believed the limit removal for all foreign insurers in the life space had already been implemented on January 1.
China announced late in 2019 that it would lift foreign ownership limits on life insurers in January 2020 – but the recently-signed trade pact showed that life, health and pension coverage were classified as three separate sectors. Therefore, all restrictions on US insurers in these sectors will be removed no later than April 1.
“We have confidence in the long-term potential of the Chinese insurance market, and this agreement should expand market access for American business in financial services, including insurance,” said Chubb in an emailed statement to Bloomberg Quint.
InsuranceAsia News reported on Allianz China’s opening in Shanghai yesterday – the company become the first wholly foreign-owned holding company insurer in the country.
Allianz said in an official statement: “It is a great step towards the liberalisation of the Chinese financial market.”
China’s easing of restrictions on foreign insurers marks its recent progress in financial liberalisation and opening.

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