Caixin
Aug 01, 2022 06:09 PM
FINANCE

Exclusive: Chinese Insurer PICC Set to Promote Tech Head to Vice President, Sources Say

What’s new: The People’s Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. (PICC) (601319.SH) is set to promote its head of technology, Zhang Jinhai, to vice president, sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin.

Zhang is chief of the state-owned insurer’s technology operations department and president of PICC Information Technology Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary established in January. The new company develops artificial intelligence-based software and Internet of Things services.

PICC, China’s third-largest insurer by total premiums in 2021, had recently named Zhang a member of its Communist Party committee, the sources said. His appointment as a vice president is pending regulatory approval.

Sources at PICC described Zhang as modest, proficient in business and tech, and respected among colleagues.

The background: The latest personnel move could be part of PICC’s plans to ramp up its digital transformation efforts under a broader regulatory directive.

Incorporating innovation and technology into the company’s operations and new products is one of this year’s priorities that PICC’s leadership laid out at a meeting on Jan. 24, according to the company’s website.

In January, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued guidelines that required insurance companies to make clear progress on their digital transformation plans by 2025. Such plans include pushing ahead with financial innovation based on data assets and digital technology, digitalizing operations and management systems, and stepping up data security and privacy protection.

Related: China’s Insurers Suffer Rocky First Quarter Amid Covid Fallout, Volatile Markets

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

Contact reporter Kelsey Cheng (kelseycheng@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart@caixin.com)

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