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China

People in China have used salt to prepare and preserve food for thousands of years. But consuming lots of salt raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, now accounts for 40% of deaths in China.

Bermuda-based Athora Holding in June 2019 announced plans to acquire Netherlands-based Vivat from Anbang Group Holdings along with NN Group of The Netherlands. NN will become the new owner of Vivat Schadeverzekeringen (Vivat Non-Life). Athora will retain Vivat’s life and asset management businesses. The acquisition in the Netherlands comes soon after Athora’s January 2019 acquisition of Generali’s operations in Belgium. It is in line with the company’s external growth

Hong Kong-based property and infrastructure group New World Development (NWD) in January 2019 acquired FTLife Insurance, Hong Kong, from JD Group. NWD, through its subsidiary NWS Holdings, paid HK$21.5 billion (US$2.75 billion) for FTLife. The deal is one of the top five insurance M&As ever in Hong Kong. Beijing-based Chinese financial firm JD Group in November 2018 had put FTLife up for sale. It was reported to be looking for

The former president of the People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) in May 2018 was jailed for 11 years for taking bribes. Wang Yincheng, who was also a Communist Party vice-secretary at state-owned PICC, was convicted of receiving 8.7 million yuan ($1.4 million) in bribes from 2006 to 2016, in exchange for helping individuals and firms with project contracts, giving staff promotions, and hiring their children, the official People’s

AIA Hong Kong in May 2018 announced a partnership with online health care services firm We Doctor. AIA’s customers will gain preferred access to WeDoctor’s healthcare services including appointment, online consultation and offline clinics, as well as its network of 2,700 hospitals, 220,000 doctors, and over 15,000 pharmacies in 30 provinces across China. AIA will become WeDoctor’s preferred provider of life and health insurance solutions. WeDoctor has over 110

Anbang Insurance’s founder and former chairman Wu Xiaohui in May 2018 was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of fraud in fundraising and of embezzlement by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. Anbang’s fast growth was driven by high-yield, investment-type insurance products with redemption options. Its asset management practices may have resulted in a duration mismatch between assets and liabilities. Wu in June 2017 was

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s (MassMutual) international insurance holding company MassMutual International in March 2018 sold 85% of its wholly owned subsidiary MassMutual Japan to Nippon Life. MassMutual Japan, formerly known as Heiwa Life, was acquired by MassMutual in 2001. MassMutual will receive approximately USD 935 million in cash (JPY 104 billion) and retain approximately 15 percent ownership in MassMutual Japan. The transaction is expected to close in the first

China’s insurance regulator, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), in February 2018 “temporarily” took over Anbang Insurance Group. Its chairman Wu Xiaohui in June 2017 was detained by authorities and is now facing prosecution on charges including fundraising fraud and embezzlement. Anbang’s growth was driven by high-yield, investment-type insurance products, many of which allowed redemption after as little as two years with little or no penalties. The growth helped fund

China in November 2017 announced it would lift the current foreign ownership cap for life insurance companies to 51 percent in 2020 and remove the limit altogether two years later. Other segments of the financial industry will see their limits relaxed even earlier. The limits for fund management companies and for securities ventures will be raised this year to 51 percent, then completely removed in three years, whereas banks

Ping An Insurance Company of China in October 2017 announced that it has established two units, the Global Financial and Economic Development Research Center. and the Global Medical and Healthcare Research Center, in association with Tsinghua University, with the aim of creating a global, top-grade think tank supported by the scientific research capabilities and scientists of Tsinghua, and the technology innovation in fintech, healthtech, and smart-city development expertise of

Local tax authorities throughout China are stepping up efforts to collect individual income tax (IIT), with more frequent and extensive investigations of both individuals and companies, according to a September 2017 report from management consultancy Deloitte. This includes particular focus on three areas: claims relating to non-taxable benefits in kind (BIKs), potential permanent establishment (PE) exposure where a non-resident company sends business travelers to China, and the taxation of

WBN (Worldwide Broker Network) in June 2017 announced the addition of Pacific Prime as its latest member. Pacific Prime is a brokerage firm headquartered in Hong Kong, and a growing international health insurance advisor and property & casualty broker that leverages its close relationships with over 60 insurance companies. Founded in 1999 by Neil Raymond, Pacific Prime employs more than 400 staff including 35 nationalities. Raymond began his working career at Shell

Researchers warn against a particular strain of E-coli bacteria found in Chinese farms and patients that is proving to be resistant to a particular group of veterinary antibiotics called polymyxins. This group of antibiotics is considered to be the last line of defense against food-borne bacteria such as E-coli and salmonella, and its overuse has created a polymyxin-resistant bacteria strain according to a report released in November 2015 in

Insurope and Ping An are hosting the 29th Insurope Conference in Beijing, China from 1-3 June 2016. This conference is free of charge and designed to bring together Insurope team members, advisors and persons responsible for international employee benefits. Client attendees work for benefits, risk management, finance and human resources departments. The conference allows to share experiences with peers dealing with all manners of employee benefits issues ranging from

Only a few weeks after Dutch telecommunications firm Vimpel and U.S.-based engineering software editor PTC in February 2016 entered into settlements with U.S. authorities in relation to allegations of corruption, telecommunication hardware provider Qualcomm in early March 2016 agreed to pay $ 7.5 million to settle charges under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Both PTC’s and Qualcomm’s illegal dealings were with corrupt Chinese government officials, whereas Vimpel got

Two units of U.S.-based engineering software company PTC will pay a total of $28 million (USD) to resolve probes into whether they gave more than $1 million in recreational travel to foreign government officials from China, in a probable violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission said in February 2016. NASDAQ-listed PTC has 6,000 employees in 30 countries

In a January 2015, Cigna-commissioned “360° Well-Being” survey of motivations, perceptions, and attitudes toward overall “well-being” among the general public in Asia and other international markets, Hong Kong ranked last—and China led the pack. Countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region included South Korea, Thailand, and New Zealand. Hong Kongers perceive themselves as performing “poorly” across all health and well-being categories compared to other markets.