Hi-tech hired muscle: Chinese firm launches rent-a-bodyguard app
Minders can be used for everything from delivering parcels to providing first aid, program’s developer says
A security firm in eastern China is planning to launch an app that will make hiring a personal bodyguard as easy as ordering a taxi, according to mainland media.
Developed by Aladdin Security Co, the Jinyiwei service will from next month provide people in Qingdao, Shandong province, with access to more than 50,000 guards from 47 firms, Qingdao News reported least week.
Jinyiwei translates as “Embroidered Uniform Guard”, which was the name given to the imperial secret police during the Ming dynasty.
The product’s creator Li Shangshang was quoted as saying that the bodyguards could be put to a range of uses, including accompanying the delivery of sensitive items, meeting important clients, or even as emergency first-aiders.
For people being harassed, the app would also provide an alternative to calling the police, the report said.
His comments generated some interesting responses on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.
“Petty street thugs and unemployed layabouts now have a new career path,” said the top-rated comment on one thread.
Other users questioned the recruitment and selection process for the guards, and what it said about modern society.
“You see, this is what happens when the police cannot do their job,” said another Weibo user.
The company was unavailable for comment, but Li was quoted in the Qingdao News report as saying that many of the bodyguards used by the service were ex-military who had undergone stringent background checks.
They had also been instructed on how to deal with police in the event of a misunderstanding or dispute and would be required to wear uniforms, he said.
The cost of hiring a guard will range from 70 yuan (US$10.50) to 200 yuan per hour, according to their experience and the nature of the work, the report said.