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Asia300

Ping An looks to double fintech investment, reaching $15bn

Chinese insurer seeks to maintain lead in voice and face recognition technology

  © AP

HONG KONG -- Ping An Insurance Group intends to invest 100 billion yuan ($15.8 billion) over the next 10 years to accelerate development of financial technologies backed by innovations such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

The Chinese insurer already has invested 50 billion yuan in fintech research and development over the past 10 years, said Tan Sin-yin, chief operating officer of the company. Ping An is leading the world in technologies for face and voice recognition that boast a nearly perfect accuracy rate, according to Tan.

Ping An aims to maintain its lead in fintech by devoting 1% of annual revenue to research and development.

The company will decide whether to list peer-to-peer financing platform Lufax and three other group companies based on market conditions and growth in operations, Tan said. Some think Lufax will go public later than initially planned as China's financial watchdog increases scrutiny of online financing.

Ping An's net profit for the year ended in December jumped 43% to 89 billion yuan, and the company doubled its dividend to 1.50 yuan per share.

Chairman Ma Mingzhe expressed confidence in the growth of China's insurance market. The company's operations have been expanding as people born since 1980 embrace insurance, he said.

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