Chinese insurance firm Ping An Insurance is planning to increase its investments in business tech integration, with a proposed budget of 12 billion yuan or roughly $1.7 billion. The amount the company is willing to spend for this year represents a 20 percent increase from its previous annual technology investment in 2019.
China's largest insurance firm by market capitalization typically allocates around 1 percent of its previous year's revenue for its annual tech investment. The company's total revenue for last year had jumped by around 18 percent to 1.27 trillion yuan, which means that this year's tech budget is slightly above what it would typically allocate.
The increase in its investments towards technology integration is aimed at bolstering cross-selling between the company's various businesses. According to Ping An co-chief executive, Jessica Tan Sin-yin, the company aims to enhance its underlying infrastructure this year to boost cross-selling between its insurance, healthcare, and financial technology platforms.
Over the past couple of years, Ping An has been heavily focusing on its healthcare business. To date, the company has three existing healthcare-focused companies. Tan stated that the company is planning to bundle its insurance products with its healthcare services to provide more value to its customers.
The integration of these services will require a lot of resources but in the long-term, it would result in enhanced productivity and reduced costs for the company. Part of the plan will be to allow users that currently active on its health care mobile apps and online consultation services to easily purchase its insurance products.
This will include future integrated shopping carts for its insurance products on its apps such as its Ping An Good Doctor healthcare platform and its Lufax Holding OneConnect financial platform. Apart from integrating its services, Ping An also plans to continue heavy investments in innovative new technologies to enhance its financial and health tech platforms.
The company stated that it has seen a massive increase in users for its various health care and Fintech platforms. For its Ping An Good Doctor app, the company revealed that it had seen a 10-fold increase in users, particularly after the spread of the novel coronavirus in China.
The same goes for the company's other healthcare platforms, which it had enhanced to support its possibly infected clients. Last month, the company launched its Covid-19 smart image reading system on its Ping An Smart Healthcare platform. The system uses artificial intelligence technologies to assist doctors in remotely diagnosing patients.
While it had originally started out as an insurance company more than three decades ago, Ping An has managed to transform itself into a diversified financial conglomerate. It now offers various services outside of insurance, which includes securities, virtual banking, online medical services, banking, and other financial technology services.