Partners with SoftBank Vision Fund investing US$200 million in exploring international opportunities
HONG KONG, Aug. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ZhongAn Online (HKSE: 6060) announced today the interim results as at 30 June 2018. Benefitting from rapid growth in emerging ecosystems, total premiums amounted to RMB5,148.2 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 106.6%. Company's insurance products currently served more than 300 million policyholders, while the number of policies per policyholder was 8.4 and the premium contribution per policyholder was approximately RMB17.0.
In the first half of its 2018 fiscal year, emerging ecosystems: healthcare, consumer finance and automobile demonstrated robust growth. The healthcare ecosystem got remarkable growth in transaction volume in the first half of the year. The health ecosystem recorded RMB1,557.2 million in gross written premiums, representing a y-o-y growth of 255.9%. The premium income contributed by the consumer finance ecosystem was RMB1,484 million, representing a y-o-y growth of 478.8%. The automobile ecosystem has been promptly growing since the fourth quarter of 2017.
For the first six months of 2018, the automobile ecosystem recorded RMB462.9 million in gross written premiums, representing a month-on-month growth rate of 25%. In the first half of 2018, the total premium growth of the three ecosystems reached 402%.
Jeffrey Chen, Chief Executive Officer of ZhongAn Online cited the Company is committed to promote the development of financial services industry with technology. It will continue to proactively explore partnership and investment opportunities in China and internationally to develop and market our technology solutions businesses through ZhongAn Technology and ZhongAn International.
In the first half of 2018, the Company's combined ratio decreased by 9.1% to 124.0% compared with the whole year of 2017.
Francis Tang, Chief Financial Officer of ZhongAn Online explained the improvement in combined ratio is supported by four key factors -- Firstly, the Company's increasing focus on emerging ecosystems: healthcare, consumer finance and automobile has continuously helped optimize our client acquisition, products and risk control, etc. Secondly, the narrowed loss ratio was achieved through accumulating of user data at partnering ecosystem platforms. Thirdly, we have continued to optimize our product mix by decreasing the proportion of less profitable products. Lastly, the application of cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technologies has continued to boost the efficiency in underwriting and claims procedure. With total premiums expanding, economies of scale in our business are gradually materializing.
On the other hand, ZhongAn International, a subsidiary of ZhongAn Online, serves ZhongAn's international development platform to explore partnership and investment opportunities to market and promote its fintech and InsureTech solutions business overseas. This month, ZhongAn International announced that it has entered into a Shareholder Agreement with SoftBank Vision Fund to boost ZhongAn's technology solutions businesses outside China. According to the agreement, the two parties have conditionally agreed to make a capital contribution in the amount of US$200 million for the subscription of shares in the new operating entity for its business development and overall operation.
With ZhongAn's technology capability developed over the past five years, ZhongAn International and SoftBank Vision Fund could be capable to provide innovative technology solutions for traditional insurance companies and other financial institutions through the operating entity. As for the Internet companies, the two parties will provide customized overall insurance, financial solutions to them by combining ZhongAn's insurance-related experience and insight into the Internet ecosystems.