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China 2016: CATEGORIES IN BRIEF | Insurance

NEEDS OF MIDDLE CLASS GUIDE CATEGORY GROWTH 

The insurance category rose 44 percent in brand value, one of the strongest performances in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016. The growth follows a 10 percent decline a year ago.

Because of their steep year-on-year value appreciation, four of the six insurance brands in the BrandZ China Top 100 also ranked among the Top 20 Risers. China Taiping rose 70 percent; China Life, 53 percent; Ping An, 41 percent; and New China Life, 42 percent.

The value growth of Ping An and China Life moved these brands into the BrandZ China Top 10. While not in the Top 20 Risers, the other two insurance brands, PICC and CPIC, also experienced strong brand value growth, 25 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

The greatest factor driving the value rise is the needs of China’s expanding middle class. Individuals acquiring greater wealth want to protect it. And they begin to seek other products, such as health insurance or pension coverage. Government regulations reassure consumers that their insurance investments are safe. 

Some of the brands, Ping An, in particular, have evolved into diversified full service financial companies that also o er investment options, which may come with less risk than equities in the volatile stock market.

In addition, the insurance companies have improved the marketing of their products and the education of their agents. And they have developed Internet businesses. The brands also are establishing overseas presence and strengthening their investment portfolios as the Chinese government relaxes overseas investment rules. 

But not all investments are in financial products. Ping An purchased Tower Place, a high profile building in the center of London’s financial district.
The move follows its purchase of the Lloyd’s of London building in 2013. China Life purchased a building in London’s Canary Wharf in 2014. And China Taiping invested in a New York luxury residential skyscraper