Life insurance in China: Better conditions for foreign investors

InvestmentIn order to boost the Chinese life insurance market, the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is making a number of regulatory changes.

First, as of January 1st, 2020, foreigners are able to own 100% of a local life insurance company. Second, the 30 years of insurance experience barrier and the requirement to have a representative office in China for at least two years before taking a stake in a local company are lifted.

Despite these measures, the procedure for obtaining a license or approval is still relatively time-consuming. Indeed, it takes 12 months for the issuance of the preliminary license (1st stage) and the operational license (2nd stage) to be ready.

In addition, every life insurer is required to obtain a licence for each office established in a province. In 2018, 28 foreign insurers in the Chinese life business controlled an 8.1% share of the same market.

Read also | China opens borders to foreign banks and insurance companies

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