China's insurance industry started to recover in 1980, after 20 years' standstill. In 1981, the People's Insurance Company of China was transformed from a government department into a specialized company, with branches or sub-branches in every part of China. 1988 witnessed the founding of the Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China and the Pacific Insurance Company, both mainly active in the coastal areas. In 1996, the People's Insurance Company of China made a big step forward in transforming its administration and operational mode, in setting up a modern enterprise system, and integrating with the international market. The Insurance Law of 1985 and the founding of the CIRC in 1988 provided the legal basis and specific rules for the operation of the insurance market. In 1980, China only had one insurance company; by 2004 there were 62, with a total revenue of premiums of 431.8 billion yuan, of which 100.4 billion were paid as compensation and payment.