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Ping An’s blockchain, AI-based consumer finance firm launches in China with $700m funding

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Yesterday, China’s Ping An Insurance announced it has set up Ping An Consumer Finance in Shanghai with a registered capital of RMB 5 billion ($700 million). The new company has been established under Ping Ans’ ‘finance+technology’ strategy and incorporates the Group’s expertise in AI, blockchain and cloud computing. 

Ping An said its technology system would underpin the entire consumer finance business, including customer acquisition, product innovation, credit review, risk management, post-lending management and customer service. The goal is to create synergy between other group companies and form a closed-loop financial system. 

“As China’s first consumer finance company with a ‘technology + finance’ positioning, we will realize digital development by driving our business with advanced technologies such as AI and cloud computing to enhance user experience, and bring more convenience to consumers whose consumption habits are rapidly upgrading,” said Chen Dongqi, Chairman of Ping An Consumer Finance. 

Ping An Consumer Finance has been approved by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. Ping An contributed 30% of the company’s registered capital as its largest shareholder. Other shareholders include Harmonious Splendor, which has a stake in Ping An Puhui Enterprise Management, and two technology companies that are linked to Lufax Holding, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company associated with Ping An Insurance. 

Ping An has a significant presence in the blockchain space, with 68 blockchain patents. It also has 679 AI patents and 48 in cloud computing. OneConnect Financial, an AI and blockchain offshoot from the group, went public on the New York stock exchange last year. 

While OneConnect is leading the blockchain development for the Group, Ping An is also involved in other projects. A few months ago, Ping An partnered with Shenzhen Taxation Bureau to develop a ‘smart tax’ model using AI, blockchain, and other technologies. The Chinese insurance firm is in a partnership with AI service provider SingularityNET, which uses decentralized ledger technology (DLT) for creating, sharing, and monetizing AI services. 

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