BEIJING - China’s online insurance policy deals have expanded 18 times over the past five years, the Securities Daily reported, quoting an industry report released by China’s internet giant Tencent.

According to the 2018 annual online insurance policy report, about 222 million Chinese have so far bought insurance sold via the internet, accounting for 27.7 percent of China’s total internet users, the newspaper reported. Tencent’s report said China’s online insurance would remain robust with huge potential owed to the great disparity in the number of people who had purchased online insurance and the gross online user population. A total of 75.2 percent of respondents said they are willing to use insurance sold via the internet, and the average age of internet users’ first-time purchase is 28.7, said the report.

Long-term accident insurance, long-term critical illness insurance and life insurance are the three most purchased online, with children and the elderly being top priority targets.

However, the report also pointed out that the more reasonable logic was to insure the “bread-winner” of the family, the main source of income.

The report said middle-aged white-collar workers earning 10,000 yuan (1,496 U.S. dollars) to 20,000 yuan a month with children consist of the main consumer group of online insurance.

In terms of the purchasing channel, online payment instruments including Wechat Wallet and Alipay are the most recognized channel of online insurance purchasing.