Intel enters AI partnership with China’s largest insurer

Agreement with Ping An Technology will involve a joint laboratory, cooperation on products

by Max Smolaks 10 January 2020

Ping An Technology has announced a strategic collaboration with Intel that will see the two companies establish a joint laboratory, cooperate on products and technology, and form a joint project team in areas of high-performance computing and AI.

Ping An Technology is a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance, considered to be China’s largest insurer and the second largest in the world after Berkshire Hathaway.

“Partnering with Intel will give Ping An an edge to boost our cloud technologies and to supercharge our AI-based services and solutions,” said Ericson Chan, CEO of Ping An Technology. “We will further strengthen our data protection with Intel hardware-enabled security in finance and healthcare, two areas where it is so critical.”

What trade war?

Ping An (literally “safe and well”) was founded in 1988 with headquarters in Shenzhen. It’s a holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries mainly deal with insurance, banking, and financial services. In July 2019, the market capitalization of the group stood at $220 billion.

As part of the group, Ping An Technology develops and applies tech across five specific industries: financial services, healthcare, automotive, real estate, and smart city services. It is responsible for the Ping An Cloud, a cloud service developed for internal purposes since 2013, and launched as a commercial offering in 2018.

The division claims to employ more than 23,000 R&D personnel and is responsible for filing more than 6,000 patents to date – more than any other financial institution in China. It will come as no surprise that Ping An Technology considers AI among its core proficiencies – it has implemented AI projects for China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Hong Kong electronic identity program, and Guangfa Bank, among others.

“The two parties will explore joint development in technology areas including AI, high performance computing, visual computing and FPGAs using the full range of Intel’s data-centric portfolio. We plan to innovate and support an open ecosystem [across] Ping An Technology’s Ping An Cloud,” said Rose Schooler, corporate VP for Sales and Marketing Group at Intel.