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China’s online insurer ZhongAn launches blockchain and AI-focused technology incubator
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Ltd., a China-based online insurance company, has announced the establishment of its wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on developing artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud computing and more.
The newly founded company ZhongAn Information and Technology Services Co., Ltd. (ZhongAn Technology) will explore technology innovation to ZhongAn and its external partners through its "ABCD" plan, focusing on four main areas: AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Data Driven.
"With the creation of ZhongAn Technology, we are developing a new fintech ecosystem, integrating technological research with financial innovation. We aim to be an accelerator for both finance and healthcare sectors”, Xing Jiang, Chief Technology Officer of ZhongAn and Chairman of ZhongAn Technology, said.
Notably, ZhongAn Technology has collaborated with over 20 business partners from various sectors including banking, insurance, consumer finance, logistics, security, healthcare, and others to establish Shanghai Blockchain Enterprise Development Alliance – the first industry-driven blockchain-focused body in China to promote the development and business applications of blockchain technology.
ZhongAn Technology has adopted the technology of Ethereum, the blockchain-based decentralized network, in its platform. Moreover, the new company has already developed a series of innovative products covering a wide range of fields including insurance, consumer finance, asset management and healthcare. This includes a blockchain-based open platform for insurance transactions to facilitate the growth of an insurance industry ecosystem.
"I am delighted that ZhongAn Technology has integrated our technology to build an open platform and that the Chinese insurance industry is actively exploring the applications of blockchain technology. I hope that more and more Chinese companies can tap into this field and help develop this new area”, Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, said.
In addition, ZhongAn Technology has also partnered with Fudan University School of Computer Sciences and Technology to set up a "blockchain and information security laboratory". This is the first joint laboratory between a university and a company focusing on blockchain technology in China.
According to the official announcement, ZhongAn Technology will roll out its services on a blockchain cloud platform www.anlink.com.
ZhongAn was founded in 2013 by Ant Financial, Tencent and Ping An, as China's first online-only insurance company. Over the past three years, it has accumulated 460 million users and issued over 5.8 billion insurance policies. Moreover, it has been recognized as a top 5 Global Fintech Innovator by KPMG-H2 Ventures for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016.