The Chinese organization ZhongAn Tech has recently been making headlines with its promise to employ blockchain technology in reducing both costs and risks related to healthcare insurance. Most notably, ZhongAn Tech has ties to Alibaba Group through its founder Jack Ma, as well as a myriad of similar Chinese heavyweights in the IT space. The insurance industry is one with high requirements for valid information, and the blockchain is widely seen as a good alternative for ensuring this. Moreover, ZhongAn Tech’s many influential chairmen have the technology incubator well situated for potential growth both in China and abroad.
A brief history of ZhongAn Tech could be beneficial to see where this initiative is coming from. The aforementioned division is an offshoot of the ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance firm, which was founded by Jack Ma, Pony Ma Huateng, and Peter Ma Mingzhe. Jack Ma is best known as being the chairman of Alibaba Group – however, his fellow founders are not precisely shrouded in obscurity. Pony Ma Huateng is the Chairman of Tencent Holdings, and Peter Ma Mingzhe chairs Ping An Insurance, a Chinese insurance behemoth.
However, ZhongAn’a venture into the blockchain field should not come as a surprise to those who have watched Jack Ma closely. Ma has previously heaped praise upon the capabilities of the blockchain when it comes to improving both security and privacy issues, as blockchain solutions can be implemented regardless of industry sector. It should be noted, however, that Ma nonetheless has his fair share of reservations towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, as he has previously stated that he believes that Bitcoin is in a bubble.
Nevertheless, it would seem that he is more enthusiastic regarding the use of blockchain technology in the insurance sector. He is joined by ZhongAn Online’s CTO, who has heralded blockchain as holding the key to unlocking “tremendous potential”n disrupting and changing China’s insurance sector. In addition to this, ZhongAn Online’s CTO, Chen We, argues that ZhongAn is already an established player in the Chinese cryptocurrency space, as it has joined in more than 100 hospitals across China – which is sure to further the adoption of blockchain in the health insurance sector.
Most notably, this decision comes following a recent announcement in which Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke out in favor of blockchain technology, citing the “huge potential of the blockchain”. More so, even though the Chinese government has previously shown anti-crypto sentiment, Xi’s remarks have led some to believe that China is due to change course on its general blockchain policy. ZhongAn Tech’s blockchain push into healthcare insurance would, therefore, seem to come at an opportune time.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.