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Ant Financial’s Xiang Hu Bao gains 100 million users, supporting about 12,000 patients

Half of the aided users are under 40 years old.

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Ant Financial’s mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao revealed via its website on Wednesday that it has gained 100 million users as of November 22 since its launch in October 2018.

This new milestone brings Xiang Hu Bao one step closer to achieving its 300 million user target by April 2021.

Xiang Hu Bao, which literally means “mutual protection”, provides basic health plans to cover costs related to 100 critical illnesses. The plan, which is available through Ant Financial’s Alipay app, bears similarity to health insurance, albeit with substantial differences.

Xiao Hu Bao differs from medical insurance packages since it does not require regular payments or admission fees. Instead, when a participant makes a claim to cover a medical bill, the user receives a one-time payout where the cost is shared equally with all other members.

Ant Financial told KrASIA on Thursday that these 100 million users have aided 11,928 users who fell critically ill after joining Xiang Hu Bao.

Among those aided, 49.4% were born in the 1990s and 1980s, indicating that they were under 40 years old when claiming payouts and could get up to RMB 300,000 yuan (USD 42,685). Those aged above 40 and below 70 are eligible for RMB 100,000 (USD 14,229).

On the Xiang Hu Bao platform, the entire evidence submission process is powered by Alipay’s proprietary consortium blockchain technology, which ensures the process is tamper-proof.

“The majority of Xiang Hu Bao’s participants are from middle or low-income communities who are at great risk of falling into poverty if they become critically ill,” said Ant Financial, quoting Zhu Minglai, director at the Health Economics and Medical Security Research Center of Nankai University.

Ant Financial added that one in three of Xiang Hu Bao’s participants intend to buy a critical illness insurance product over the next six months. Meanwhile, for those who do not participate in the platform the intention of purchase is only 22%, Ant Financial said citing a Financial Times Confidential Research survey.

Sales of health policies offered by partner insurance companies on the Ant Insurance Platform have increased by over 60% as of June 2019, in comparison to October 2018 when Xiang Hu Bao was launched, according to Ant Financial.