By selling cheap insurance for cracked cellphone screens and return shipping costs on online purchases, a new breed of technology upstarts has shaken up the way general insurance is marketed in Asia, The Wall Street Journal reports. Now, companies that sell policies on mobile and internet platforms are targeting the largest and most technologically resistant part of the sector: the life-insurance industry. Chinese technology giants including the financial affiliate of Alibaba and Tencent have been accumulating stakes in Asian life-insurance companies and online insurers over the past year. They are eyeing a large untapped opportunity: the hundreds of millions of uninsured people in China. Life insurance is a “meaningful product,” said Wayne Xu, chief operating officer for ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, a four-year-old company co-founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma that calls itself China’s first online-only insurer. ZhongAn, which went public recently has built a high-volume business around selling online insurance on everything from drone accidents to flight delays.
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