While a personal security detail was once the exclusive province of the wealthy and prominent, a new app called Jinyiwei, which is set to launch in September in the northern Chinese city of Qingdao, aims to bring the service to the masses.
“Jinyiwei is both consumer-facing and business-facing,” Li Shangshang, one of the app's developers, told Qingdao News. “Our bodyguards are all registered and cleared for background checks, have gone through etiquette training, and wear uniforms to work.”
Jinyiwei, which takes its name from the imperial guards who served the emperors of the Ming dynasty, aims to connect businesses and individuals across the city with more than 50,000 staff culled from 47 security companies, according to China Daily.
"Our employees need to upload their ID cards, military discharge certificates and permits," Li Shangshang, one of the app's co-developers, told that paper. "They have also been required to take manners and etiquette training classes, and must wear a uniform at work."
Upon launching, anyone in Qingdao who feels unsafe or needs accompaniment somewhere can get a personal bodyguard with just one click. Companies who need additional security when receiving guests or transferring valuables can also use the service. And guards can even be called to co-operate with the police in the event of a fight.
The cost of the bodyguard-hailing service is expected to range from 70 to 200 yuan (10.50 to 30) per hour, depending on the services required and the experience level of the guard hailed.
The company's CEO Yan Bing has big plans for the app's future. "We are planning to expand our business network to more cities and even overseas," he said and added that a new version of the app might also offer quick loan services to businesses.