CHINA Life Insurance (Group) Co has forged a strategic partnership with America's General Electric Co to explore finance and other industries together.
A memorandum of understanding outlining the alliance was signed yesterday in Shanghai.
China Life, the world's biggest insurer in terms of market capital, will pursue overseas expansion opportunities by teaming up with GE, ranked the globe's sixth-biggest company by Fortune magazine.
"The cooperation is a key development for both companies," said Yang Chao, president of China Life (Group) and chairman of China Life Insurance Co Ltd. "We will learn from GE's global experience, and GE can leverage our pool of 150 million clients."
The companies will set up a task force to map out their cooperation plans. The group will include Wan Feng, a China Life vice president.
"It's an exciting opportunity to join with China Life," said Jeff Immelt, GE's chief executive officer. "For GE to continue to grow in China, we need collaboration with a Chinese partner."
The two can "do many things together" such as helping China Life expand outside China, Immelt said.
China Life's large distribution network can offer a platform for new financial products, while GE will also team up with the asset management arm of China Life in seeking investment opportunities in the Chinese market.
Technical cooperation is also a possibility.
China Life reported income of 101.4 billion yuan (US$13.5 billion) in the first half, up 39.6 percent from a year ago. The insurer holds a 47 percent share of China's life insurance market, dominating all competitors.
Its rivals are seeking overseas investors for capital and expertise. Shenzhen-based Ping An Insurance (Group) has teamed up with HSBC as an investor, and Shanghai-based China Pacific Insurance Co has secured overseas investors including Carlyle Group and Prudential Financial.