Several European insurance giants are partnering with a motley set of businesses, in order to break into the lucrative Chinese market, which is set to triple in size by 2030.
According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review, these include German insurer Ergo, part of the Munich Re Group, which formed a joint venture with vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor in October to provide new car buyers, with motor insurance. This allows it to pave the way to providing Great Wall’s suppliers and employees with various other insurance products.
Meanwhile, fellow German insurer Allianz sold a 30% stake in its local property and casualty business to online retailer JD.com for CNY483m ($68.7m).
British firm Aviva, which is withdrawing from a number of Asian markets, is keeping its Chinese joint venture with state-owned food processing company Cofco Group. According to Aviva, it decided to continue the venture, founded in 2003, due to its “high growth prospects” and “double digit operating profit growth” for 2018.
France-headquartered AXA has submitted a request to the CBIRC to allow it to buy out the entirety of its joint venture AXA Tianping, which specialises in motor insurance.
By entering the market in tandem with a local firm, European insurers are easing into position to eventually launch their wholly owned insurance operations, the Nikkei report said.
Other major European insurers in China include Generali of Italy, which has a life insurance venture with China National Petroleum. Dutch insurer Aegon is partnered with software company Tsinghua Tongfang to sell life insurance, after the original partner, state oil company CNOOC, exited in 2015.