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Case Title:

Eyeing the Rural Insurance Market: Will China Life hit the Bull's Eye?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: S Chhaochharia and A Chakraborty

Industry: Banking, Insurance and Financial Services


Case Code: MKS0138IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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China Life, the world's largest insurer by market capitalisation, had dominated the Chinese market for over 30 years since 1978. The company had been the largest life insurer in China with a market share of 48%. The company, after consolidating urban market leadership, went for aggressive expansion in the rural market in 2005, by restructuring its business mix. The existing market penetration was extremely low in the rural areas of China. Only 4% of the rural market had been tapped by the domestic insurers of China. To tap the rural market, China Life adopted aggressive marketing strategies. China Life tied up with the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and the Postal Savings Bank of China to solidify their base in the rural areas. It remained to be seen how well China Life could diversify its investments and product mix to explore the untapped rural market. This case is intended for MBA / PGDBM students and is designed to be part of the business strategies and financial management curriculum.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the developments in the Chinese insurance sector.
  • To understand the growth strategies of China Life.
  • To have a brief understanding about the strategies adopted by China Life in the rural area.

Keywords :  Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Largest life insurance company, Postal Savings Bank of China (PSB), People's Insurance Company of China (PICC), China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), Property and casualty insurance, Rural insurance market, Micro insurance, Foreign direct investments (FDI), Ping An Insurance, Medical care system, China Life Insurance Company, Individual life insurance, Group life insurance, Accident and health insurance

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