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In the Shadow of the Dragon by William Dowell, Winter Nie

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EIGHTPing An Brings Modern Finance to China

If you think changing the mindset of Chinese consumers is difficult, imagine training the insurance agents, who do not even know what life insurance is. …

—Dominic Leung, former CEO of Ping An Life

UNTIL CHINA OPENED ITSELF to private industry, there did not seem to be any real need for life insurance. The state provided China’s social safety net and was expected to take care of each citizen’s needs from birth until death. Since the state was the biggest player by default, it was hard to see how anyone else could do any better. More than that, the Chinese by their nature tend to be pragmatic optimists, and until recently they saw little value in investing in a future that by definition they would not ...

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