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China Life new business value drops 23% in 2021

New business value of China Life Insurance has dropped 23% to CNY44.78bn (USD7bn) in 2021. The country’s largest life insurer said premiums from new policies decreased 9.3% to CNY175.86bn, due to the slowdown in the demand for insurance consumption and the decline in the number of its salesforce amid the pandemic. It said the drop was also due to the high base from the previous year and the decline was within a reasonable range. China's cooling economy and lower interest rates have eroded demand for life insurance and hampered investment returns. China Life this year also needs to limit any impact from a probe of former Chairman Wang Bin, just as surging new Covid cases threaten to again disrupt its efforts since 2018 to refocus on higher-margin, long-term policies.

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