WI Harper

September 13, 2010 20:25 ET

WI Harper Fuels Insurance Industry Expansion in China

Dramatic Growth in Demand Opens New Opportunities for Telemarketing and Insurance Product Brokering

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and BEIJING--(Marketwire - September 13, 2010) -  WI Harper Group, a leading Chinese expansion and early growth stage venture capital firm, today announced a capital investment in 360 Financial Online Corporation Limited, the largest independent telephony-based insurance telemarketing firm in China. Demand for insurance products is growing exponentially across China with the strong purchasing power of China's middle class. WI Harper's investment in 360 Financial and the burgeoning Chinese insurance industry underscores a commitment to expanding the adoption of new, efficient and progressive technology across China. Forward thinking providers in China, such as Tai Kang Insurance, have already expanded and captured market share with 360 Financial Online Corporation's telemarketing and sales support.

Vast Opportunity
With the continued accumulation of wealth in China comes a substantial opportunity to increase the sales of insurance products, especially those with savings or investment features. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) of Chinese mass affluent consumers shows that buying more LTSP insurance could ease their social security concerns and free up 2% of their savings for greater consumption.

"The Chinese middle class is getting savvy about insurance products and this growing trend offers WI Harper the opportunity to fund and guide companies like 360 Financial, who are focused on bringing these products to the public," said WI Harper Chairman, Peter Liu.  "We invested in 360 Financial and its experienced entrepreneurial executives to expand and enhance a visionary business that is already delivering value to consumers and disrupting how insurance is sold in China."

As in the United States, Chinese consumers want to compare insurance products and services before purchasing. The insurance marketplace in China is still developing, and as the public sector becomes more aware of the value insurance delivers, competition is increasing. Insurance carriers are faced with managing new and complex distribution channels -- including banks, post offices, insurance agencies and brokerages. McKinsey reports that in 2008, total life insurance premiums accounted for only 2.6% of national GDP -- lower than in more developed markets such as Taiwan (12.9%) and Hong Kong (10.6%) -- and the life insurance industry in China has grown at almost 35% annually.

360 Financial is ideally positioned to support the insurance carriers in educating their consumers and helping them expand the sale of their products across China in an efficient and cost effective manner.

"In China's insurance industry, using computer telephony technology, employing telemarketing tactics and integrating data analytics are new innovations," said Li Jianmin, Founder and Chairman, 360 Financial. "Carriers are beginning to recognize that the traditional offline agent and direct sales model is simply too expensive and hard to scale across China. With an outsourced telemarketing sales model, carrier operational costs are lowered dramatically and it is much easier to monitor and manage results."

360 Financial also helps insurance companies design new products, analyze and mine data captured through phone interviews and free insurance product gifts, and outsource their sales force. In addition, the company provides computer telephony integration systems to insurance companies as a value added component to their services.

About 360 Financial Online Corporation Limited
Founded in 2008 and based in Beijing, 360 Financial Online Corporation Ltd. is China's largest outbound computer telephony integration-based insurance marketing agency. The company focuses on delivering sales, service and computer telephony technologies for life insurance carriers across Greater China.

About WI Harper
Founded in 1993, WI Harper Group is a venture capital firm that invests in early and expansion stage companies with significant operations in China and aspirations to become global leaders. We are an active partner with a track record of over 100 investments in the technology, clean technology and health care sectors. The firm manages $500 million in capital from our offices in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco.

Contact Information

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