CBIRC Drafting New Regulations on the Sale of Life Insurance, Targets Live Streaming E-commerce

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The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has announced that it is in the process of drafting new regulations governing the sale of life insurance products, with observers anticipating a focus on the use of live streaming e-commerce which has taken the sector by storm.

CBIRC’s life insurance department recently issued the “Letter Concerning Research into Conditions in Relation to Life Insurance Sales Regulation” (关于调研人身保险销售管理有关情况的函) to Chinese insurers, announcing that it was in the process of drafting new regulations.

Domestic observers say that the regulation of life insurance sales remains a fraught area in China, with multiple cases of overlapping or conflicting rules, as well as areas where regulation is absent or enforcement is difficult.

In addition to targeting traditional sales channels, the new regulations will also focus on emerging sales trends in the Chinese life insurance sector, including online live streaming sales, use of big data to analyse and obtain customers, artificial intelligence sales, and e-commerce and online sales integration.

A source from Zhongan Insurance said to National Business Daily live streaming e-commerce has already become a critical window for insurers to communicate with customers.

Zhongan Insurance itself has not ruled out making further arrangements for “insurance live streaming,” and is actively exploring the possibility of new sales channels under the framework of regulatory compliance.

In 2020 a total of 21 life insurance companies in China engaged in telemarketing operations, including 12 domestically invested companies and nine foreign invested companies.

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