Aviva Digital Global Chairman Chris Wei recently spoke to Asian Insurance Review and among other things, he talked about the rise of Asian insurtech companies:
“…we are going to see non-traditional competition rise. These would be everything from the ‘Alibabas’ and ‘Tencents’ of the world, to Amazon which is actively looking at insurance, Tesla with InsureMyTesla, and it’s just going to keep growing from there,” he added.
It’s no surprise that competition within the Asian insurance space continues to rise. As Wei himself notes, Asia is still in the “sweet spot” as far as growth factors are concerned. The region has big populations, low insurance penetration, and a burgeoning middle class. “All the macro factors that people have been talking about for the last two decades remain.”
That said, Wei and Aviva look set to fight fire with fire:
In 2017, Aviva, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital Group signed a deal aiming to develop an insurance company in Hong Kong focussing on digital insurance. It hopes to be the first insurtech-approved venture in Hong Kong, and aims to launch before the end of first quarter of 2018.
“This joint venture is interesting, it is the coming together of three partners, we have Tencent which everybody knows, not only WeChat but now they have an eWallet and looking to expand that functionality in Hong Kong. We’ve got Hillhouse that I think is a brilliant asset management company and then of course ourselves, we bring the insurance expertise. So it’s three partners coming together to look to disrupt what is a fairly traditional market, and hope to bring a different set of options for Hong Kong consumers,” he said.