Blue, backed by Tencent, is the first Hong Kong pure digital insurance venture
The Hong Kong life insurance market is particularly crowded and often the prices of insurance policies are very expensive. In this context, Blue, the first pure digital insurance company in Hong Kong, began operations.
Charles Hung Tak-chow, chief executive of Blue, said: “By turning from a traditional insurance company into a digital insurance company, we do not need to pay any commission to middlemen. We can thus charge policies at a lower price and we will transfer the benefit to customers”.
Blue is 20 per cent owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent and 40 per cent by British insurer Aviva
The digital breakthrough that is facing the city of Hong Kong, however, is not causal. The city government, in fact, wants to promote the so-called insurtech of the city and, last September, the Insurance Authority announced a series of measures to allow insurance companies to use new technologies to sell products.
After this announcement, many of the city’s major players, including AIA, MetLife and Manulife, have introduced new technologies such as big data to analyse risk and determine premiums.
The insurance sector employs nearly 90,000 people in Hong Kong. Hung said Blue will only employ over 100 people
The digital breakthrough of Hong Kong also led to the birth of Blue. Blue came into being in February when the regulator approved a deal to allow Aviva to add in two shareholders: Tencent with 20 per cent and investment company Hillhouse with 40 per cent, leaving Aviva with the remaining 40 per cent.
“There are a lot of customers who are very tech savvy nowadays who want to buy insurance policies and make claims by their mobile phone or their computer. They are our target clients. Aviva has an insurance background, Tencent has internet knowledge and Hillhouse can support capital needs. All three major shareholders have their contributions to Blue,” Hung said.
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