Caixin
Apr 22, 2020 06:30 PM
FINANCE

Insurer Urges Execs to Take Unpaid Leave to Relieve Pandemic Pressure

What’s new: Huaxia Life Insurance Co. Ltd. said it is encouraging some senior executives, especially those aged over 45, to take unpaid leave for up to three years “to start their own businesses,” as it faces growing operational and profit pressures amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The midsize Chinese insurance company announced the decision in a Monday internal notice circulated online. A representative confirmed to Caixin that the notice was genuine.

The background: Several major Chinese companies have decided to lay off staff in recent weeks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Appliance giant Hisense Group Corp. plans to lay off over 10,000 employees, while rival Midea Group. Co. Ltd. has decided to withhold up to 30% of the salaries of certain senior staff.

Huaxia is controlled by Tomorrow Holding Co. Ltd., an embattled giant owned by Xiao Jianhua, one of China’s richest billionaires, sources close to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told Caixin. Chinese authorities placed Xiao under investigation in early 2017.

The insurer’s net profits slumped more than 70% to 716 million yuan ($100.8 million) last year, although its insurance revenues grew 15.5% to 182.8 billion yuan, according to its financial data (link in Chinese).

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Related: Appliance-Maker Hisense to Lay Off Over 10,000

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com) and editor Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

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