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China’s $189 Billion Giant of Finance Reveals a Huge Bet on Tech

These days, every big finance company worth its salt is finding ways to boost its bottom line with technology. Few are going quite as far as Ping An Insurance (Group) Co.

Over the past decade, the Chinese behemoth has invested billions in technology to make its insurance, lending and asset management businesses more competitive. In recent years, it started selling that tech — everything from online banking platforms to facial recognition systems — to other financial firms in China and around the world.

Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

But only now is the scope of Ping An’s ambition coming into focus: The company wants to eventually generate half its earnings from technology, up from almost nothing today. The target, spelled out for the first time by Deputy Chief Executive Officer Jessica Tan in an interview with Bloomberg, could spur investors to rethink how they value a stock that’s nearly 70 percent cheaper than counterparts in the Chinese tech industry.

“Our long-term goal is to drive our business on the two wheels of capital and technology,” Tan said, without being more specific about when the company plans to reach its earnings target. “From the standpoint of the group, we hope the two are balanced in terms of revenue and profit — equally important.”

Read more: Bloomberg Gadfly’s take on Ping An’s tech ambitions

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