A mobile phone user uses Twitter-like microblog Weibo of Chinese Internet portal Sina. Photo: AFP

Chinese tech firm Sina, which operates one of the major social media and web portals in the nation, is moving into Internet insurance, following the three big web giants, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, National Business Daily reported.

The company will join forces with controlling interest Xingmin Insurance Brokers Ltd., to sell insurance products on its platform.

In theory, the platform can sell any legal insurance product, once it has acquired the license. While at this stage, short-term accident insurance, low priced medical insurance and critical illness insurance are the most popular on the Internet.

A mid-level manager at the insurance company said only certain types of insurance are suitable for online sales; in particular, those which involve the easy process of underwriting. For example, accident insurance, in which one’s physical condition need not be taken into consideration.

Though the development of online insurance will be limited by such features, in the eyes of the Internet giants, it is imperative to move into this sector, in order to cash in on the Internet traffic they already own.

Sina has over 100 million registered users worldwide, the report said, indicating vast potential for future insurance sales.

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