Following the recent lift of product restrictions for foreign insurers by the Chinese government, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial, has launched its group insurance business in China.

Manulife-Sinochem plans to first launch its group insurance to employers in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Ningbo and will roll out to other cities including Foshan, Dongguan, Hangzhou and Najing later on.

The company is also thought to have conducted market research to design its first line of products that take into consideration the various needs of Chinese businesses.

We are very pleased to be in a position to now offer our portfolio of innovative financial and protection products to companies, stated Marc Sterling, executive vice president of regional operations in Asia for Manulife Financial. Our long-term goal is to become the employee benefit provider of choice in the mainland for joint-ventures and small-to-medium sized companies, he added.

Manulife-Sinochem has opened four branches in China and is operational in six cities. The company also announced plans to open three or four more branches this year and plans to devote even more resources into developing the group insurance business in each of these cities.