Ping An Co-CEO Sees Greater Bay Area Opportunity for Hong Kong with Three Challenges ahead


Hong Kong, as an international financial center, is positioned to play an important role in the building of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), says Jessica Tan, Co-CEO of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEX: 02318; SSE: 601318).

Ms. Tan, speaking last week at Hong Kong Fintech Week, said realizing full potential of the GBA, integrating Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, means overcoming three key challenges: dealing with multiple regulatory jurisdictions, supporting SMEs who drive cross-border trade, and enabling the flow of skills and talent.

“The GBA is a huge and exciting area,” Ms. Tan said. “I really hope we can take advantage of this, particularly Hong Kong as an international financial center.”

Regulatory cooperation needed

Across the three jurisdictions of GuangdongHong Kong and Macao, there are multiple government departments, each with their own standards and procedures, Ms. Tan said. Technologies, such as blockchain, can be used to create interoperable standards, enabling data to be shared across different systems for transactions in areas such as supply chain, trade finance and healthcare.

Hong Kong could actually take the lead because it’s one of the international hubs to create such a platform to consolidate Hong Kong’s own various government data,” she said.

Ping An also has experience in supporting governments: Group associate company OneConnect provided the technology for a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) launched in Guangdong Province to address the issues of “difficult, expensive and slow financing” of SMEs. Companies registered their assets, liabilities and transactions in real time with a wide range of government departments and were able to get easier access to credit from banks and other financial institutions. Now the platform has served over one million SMEs and dispersed over RMB 68 billion of loans.

Providing cross-border trade and financial services for SMEs

More than half of the trade within the GBA comes from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), Ms. Tan said. Financial institutions could streamline their processes to offer SMEs better and faster access to credit.

“In reality, a lot of the economic activity is not just done by big multinationals, but SMEs,” she said. “SMEs are not yet equipped with the ability to operate across the region seamlessly. They need help to lower the cost of doing business. This is where financial services can play a part.”

Ping An OneConnect Bank (PAOB) is focused on supporting SMEs. Capitalizing on Ping An Group’s technological prowess, the Bank provides online and smart cross-border financial products and service experiences to mainland ChinaHong Kong and Macao investors. Of its customers, 25% have never borrowed from a bank before, and of the 75% who have, 60% of those have never had non-collateralized lending. PAOB is streamlining its lending process with a risk model based on trade and other data, making the application process as short as a few days, down from one to two months. PAOB’s average non-collateralized lending facility is now HKD1.7 million.

Grooming Cross-border Technology Talents

Thirdly, the GBA needs cross-border flow of skills – including individuals and small fintech companies, Ms. Tan said.

Ping An is launching an internship program to give young financial services and technology professionals experience working cross-border. It also has an incubator accelerator for small fintech companies, OneConnect’s Gamma O platform, to give fintech start-ups access to the cutting-edge technologies, such as open application programming interfaces (APIs) applying big data and artificial intelligence, and the opportunity to produce their own innovative solutions for financial institutions using the platform.


OneConnect Impresses at World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2021 in Shanghai


Leading technology-as-a-service platform provider OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. (NYSE: OCFT) (“OneConnect” or “the Company”), an associate company of Ping An Group, recently displayed a lineup of impressive fintech solutions at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2021 (WAIC 2021) held in Shanghai from July 8-10, 2021, drawing much interest from attendees.

Exhibitors at the event – themed “Intelligent Connectivity, Inspirational Cities” – included several of China’s most well-known companies but one of the key attractions was OneConnect’s Smart Government & Enterprise Platform. The solution enables governments to combine services for matters of state, large manufacturers, financial institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through one digital platform, providing a venue for SMEs to accurately and efficiently locate resources for their financing needs.

OneConnect Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO Ye Wangchun said, “With the rapid development of technology today, OneConnect will continue to provide a valuable, customer-centric service experience while playing a key role in the industry’s digital transformation. We believe that the essence to creating more palatable financial technologies that support and enhance human potential, social connectedness, dignity, and self-reliance is to empower the financial industry through technology. We aim to promote digital transformation, support the real economy, facilitate rural revitalization, and create social value.”

In addition, what most impressed visitors to the conference was OneConnect’s ability to provide comprehensive digital solutions allowing the widely diversified needs of financial institutions to be met. Through the integration of multiple products, OneConnect has created 16 product lines across banking, insurance and investment verticals covering both software-as-a-service(SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) scenarios, providing financial institutions with full-process and end-to-end technology enablement.

OneConnect’s banking module, intelligent risk management platform, corporate and banking digital transformation service, and intelligent double-entry bookkeeping solution all leverage leading technologies and deep insights into business to provide full-process corporate financial digital solutions and full-scenario AI empowerment, greatly enhancing the quality and efficiency of financial services.

The Company’s intelligent auto insurance claims platform provides insurance companies with a “Software + Services” end-to-end solution, covering the entire process from reporting of the accident, rescue, vehicle damage and human injury assessment, to supply of parts and settlement of claims. Through a large, shared service center, the platform provides resource support including rescue, inspection of the damaged vehicle and maintenance, as well as enhanced management of claims services.

OneConnect’s smart subscription and audit solutions fully demonstrate the advantages of AI collaboration in improving management efficiency in the investment sector. The smart subscription solution relies on multiple types of intelligent tools to automate 90% and standardize 100% of the process, significantly reducing operation and maintenance costs and lowering operational risks while enhancing management effectiveness. The smart audit solution is the industry’s first of its kind to deploy AI.

The Company’s Gamma smart voice platform features intelligent solutions for voice navigation, online customer service, video robot, outbound calling, customer service assistance and quality inspection, among other smart customer service solutions, coupled with a voice robot that genuinely delivers business results.

WAIC 2021 focused on the artificial intelligence-enabled digital transformation of cities. The event discussed the path of innovation in AI and its resultant industrial applications with the aim of conveying the concept and value of urban digital transformation and reaching a global consensus on relevant governance and norms.

The financial technology (fintech) industry serves as a good example. With the growing maturity of key technologies such as cloud computing, big data, blockchain and AI alongside the transition from the internet and mobile web eras into the era of AI, integration of finance and technology has finally been achieved, laying a solid foundation for the next stage of digital development.

During the first quarter of 2021, OneConnect announced its SaaS product lineup upgrade plan, with a focus on the “big picture,” including platform and ecosystem, while adhering to the dual empowerment of “technology + business.” Having established a unique business model, the Company has also been fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities, creating value for society through technology during this period of accelerated evolution of digital finance.

Publicly available data reveal that since its inception, OneConnect has invested more than 3.4 billion yuan in technology R&D. The Company has now established its leadership in the fintech industry in terms of AI, big data and blockchain, with a series of industry-leading intelligent technology products in which it solely holds the intellectual property rights. OneConnect is also expanding rapidly into overseas markets by setting up subsidiaries in SingaporeHong KongIndonesiaMalaysia and the Philippines, embarking on a new journey of global expansion.


OneConnect Financial Technology and Singapore Management University announce key findings from joint research on potential for quantum computing to resolve blockchain trilemma


OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. (OneConnect) the leading technology-as-a-service platform provider and an associate of Ping An Insurance Group, and Singapore Management University (SMU) today announced the key findings from a jointly conducted research on the potential of quantum computing to augment blockchain technology for businesses. The research report has been vetted by the Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS) and the findings were shared at the BAS webinar titled “Enterprise Blockchain in the New Decade” earlier today, moderated by Ms Tan Bin Ru, Co-Chairwoman of BAS, who is also CEO (SEA) of OneConnect Financial Technology.

The findings from this research follow an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OneConnect and SMU in 2019 to develop a Proof of Concept (POC) to investigate the characteristics of quantum computing for distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). Co-led by Associate Professor Paul Griffin from SMU School of Computing and Information Systems, the report focused on studying quantum algorithms that could augment blockchain technology in the area of robust large-scale consensus.

While reviewing various types of consensus mechanisms and the suitability of quantum computing in business, the research has shown that the inherent constraints faced by classical DLTs known as the “blockchain trilemma”, or the notion of improving all three fundamental attributes of blockchain – speed, security and size – at once could be broken by quantum technologies, thus increasing potential business usage. For current blockchains, a longer time is required to reach a consensus for highly secure DLTs, and increasing the speed of consensus leads to lower security.

The result findings from the research project include:

  • Quantum and classical consensus take a similar number of rounds to agree on the same value, meaning that with a quantum internet, big data such as social media and IoT information could be used for consensus and not be limited to the few hundreds of financial transactions of current blockchains. This would likely benefit many areas of financing including trade finance and the under-banked.
  • Quantum consensus has more variation than classical and can take longer or shorter times to achieve consensus, potentially speeding up consensus if the shorter times are engineered to be selected.
  • Real quantum computers need careful configuration and noise mitigation, and this will take time to become commercially useful. Furthermore, there is much more work needed to connect quantum computers to quantum networks.

Ms Tan Bin Ru shared, “We are excited to be announcing the results and insights gathered from this joint research over the last one year – it has indeed been a remarkable journey and a significant milestone that we are sharing with SMU today. Collaborations like these will allow us to better understand and lay the groundwork for the potential of blockchain technology that can be applied to businesses in the future, such as improving financing and the under-banked woes. We look forward to continuing long-term partnerships with educational institutes like SMU to potentially expand its usefulness in industry applications.”

Associate Professor Paul Griffin, a speaker at the BAS webinar, shared, “It has been a wonderful journey with OneConnect to work on this exciting future-oriented research. The potential for quantum computing is just beginning to be explored and this project has helped to move this forward in a relevant area for the industry. SMU would like to thank all the people involved and look forward to continuing this and other research with OneConnect in the future.”

Following the joint research, OneConnect and SMU will continue to forge partnerships in the areas of innovation and building talents for the digital economy.


OneConnect Enables Fintech Innovation in Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Digital Lab

Leading technology-as-a-service platform provider OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. (NYSE: OCFT) (“OneConnect” or “the Company”) was recognized at the recent FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival for its technological support of ADGM Digital Lab, a platform of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the award-winning International Financial Center.

In April, OneConnect, an associate company of Ping An Insurance Group, signed a cooperative agreement with ADGM to provide technological support for the construction of ADGM Digital Lab, which is a “digital market” that focuses on financial businesses. The key role of the Digital Lab is to provide a virtual platform and resources such as data, application programming interfaces (APIs), system images and reference architectures. On the platform, financial institutions and Fintech firms can collaborate to implement agile iterations and test for innovative financial solutions.

The technology used by OneConnect to support the construction of ADGM Digital Lab is derived from Gamma O, OneConnect’s own open platform aiming to link developers, Fintech services providers and financial institutions. In addition to sharing advanced technology and Fintech platform, Gamma O also provides a sandbox testing environment to drive the innovative transformation of financial institutions.

“The ADGM Digital Lab provides a secure and reliable digital environment that allows Fintech companies to work with financial institutions to create and test solutions to solve real-world problems,” said H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM, in his remarks at the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival.

Under the supervision of the central bank and financial institutions in Abu Dhabi, the ADGM Digital Lab enables players in the industry — including financial institutions, startups, regulators, tech vendors, academics, venture capitalists and government entities — to identify and address shared challenges together.

H.E. Al Sayegh said that despite the challenging situation as a result of the pandemic this year, the number of tech start-ups at ADGM grew by 80 per cent to 291 and venture capital activity tripled from the prior year.

The platform symbolizes the latest development of strategic relationships between OneConnect and ADGM to build a comprehensive digital financial and business services ecosystem. The agreement is expected to bring more business opportunities to Middle East and North African countries along the One Belt One Road initiative and boost the development of local Fintech innovations.

OneConnect is at the forefront of Fintech. As of June 30, OneConnect had obtained 4,327 patents, 945 of which were overseas patents, and served over 50 international customers in over 15 markets.