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Axa looks to China’s second tier of cities

French insurance giant Axa is to target China's smaller cities in order to progress its growth in the Asia country, Reuters has reported.

Up until now, the major western insurers have focused on winning contracts to operate in China’s mega metropolises as they looked to maximize their exposure to the local customer bases.

However, according to a senior executive within the company, Reuters says, Axa will now aim at winning licenses to do business in China’s second largest sector of urban areas, a sector described as the Asian country’s second tier of cities.

Despite being present in China for the last seven years, Axa trails its major western rivals with only three branches located in major cities. The French firm hopes its new strategy will enable it to open three new branches per year for the next three to five years, the Reuters report states.

Meanwhile, in contrast to rival strategies that focus on planting flags around China, Axa intends to place its more regional branches into locations that are complimented by its existing facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.