(Hong Kong, Shanghai, 23 June 2021) Peter Ma, Chairman and founder of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318), marked the 33rd anniversary of the company with a reflection on the impact of digitalization on human progress and productivity.
Mr. Ma was 33 years old when he founded Ping An Insurance, China’s first private joint-stock insurance company, in 1988. Ping An is now one of the world’s largest insurers, a leader across financial services in China and a pioneer in new technologies, from fintech to cloud.
“Digitization has raised to a new level humans’ ability to understand the world, the underlying principles that govern it and make more intelligent decisions,” Mr. Ma wrote in an open message to Ping An executives.
He said this enhanced cognitive capacity is built on three disruptions from technology:
- Computing power, which enables us to process massive amounts of unstructured data, enhancing our understanding of complex issues
- Cognitive ability, with advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, that has surpassed the cognitive abilities of humans in a variety of areas
- Big data, which makes available an unprecedented breadth and depth of data, which is growing exponentially
“New technologies also allow us to discover unknown and complex associations in human developments,” Mr. Ma wrote. He pointed to Ping An’s advancements in medical diagnosis as an example. The conventional process of diagnosing diabetes took into account several disease-causing factors, but Ping An’s technology can locate more than 50 health risk factors, more than 300 related diseases or symptoms and more than 2,000 relevant drugs.
Digitalization also brings a new level of speed and automation to business, reducing manual labor and costs. Ping An’s rapid auto insurance claim solution enables customers to make claims on a mobile app within three minutes by taking photos of their cars. This fully digital process is driven by AI that has learned images of 60,000 types of vehicles and 24 million parts and components.
AI even enables the company to achieve a more personal relationship with its more than 220 million customers via digital channels, Mr. Ma noted. Human labor alone couldn’t deliver Ping An’s service standards to such a vast customer base. In 2020, the amount of services provided by AI service representatives grew 41% year-on-year to 1.93 billion times, representing 82% of Ping An’s total customer service workloads.
As Ping An looks ahead, the company cannot rest on its technology achievements, Mr. Ma added. “Digitalization will continue to disrupt all areas of life in the 21st century,” he wrote. “The market competition will only grow more brutal and winners will take all. We have to remain vigilant and alert to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”
A full version of the message is available here.