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Female bodyguards on rise in China

11-23-2013 13:49 BJT

By CCTV reporter Grace Brown

As more women join China’s elite, securing them is an increasingly big business. Since last year, security guards have been able to get certified - and with one third of China’s millionaires now women, a growing number of students training to be bodyguards in China are too. From Beijing, Grace Brown reports on the challanges and opportunities for China’s female bodyguards.

Since last year, security guards have been able to get certified - and with one third of China’s
millionaires now women, a growing number of students training to be bodyguards in China are too.

It’s only lunchtime, but already, Yang Mei has been beaten up, held at gunpoint and attacked with knives. She’s taken an unusual career path. In China’s fast-growing security industry. She’s training at the biggest security campus in Asia, just outside Beijing.

"I wanted to do this since I was small. I want to be a bodyguard because it makes me stronger and more independent, and it’s rewarding to protect someone. " Yang Mei, Student of Tianjiao Genghis Security Agency said.

According to the latest Hurun Rich List 11 percent of China’s richest people are now women, along with a third of all Chinese millionaires. The country’s nearly 3,000 security agencies are vying for their business, by recruiting female bodyguards to shield them with more security – and less stigma. Once she graduates, Yang will accompany a female client closely, without raising the same suspicions that they’re having an affair. She’s also, perhaps, less obvious to potential attackers.

But the job is far from easy. China’s bodyguards -- male and female -- have to work all hours of the day, go without holidays and be constantly ready for any threat. Training like this aims to boost their physical endurance - and prepare them for pain.

Since last year, security guards have been able to get certified - and with one third of China’s
millionaires now women, a growing number of students training to be bodyguards in China are too.

At 6,800 yuan, or about 1,000 Us dollars for a 3-week course, it’s a heavy investment. Their instructor, Mr. Chen, doesn’t go easy on them, either.

"On the first day, they were not allowed to eat or sleep. This is because when they are guarding clients, they often do not get time, so they have to build up endurance." Chen Yongqing, Manager of Tianjiao Special Security Co., said.

Rewards are high though for bodyguards in China, especially women -- who often earn more than men, due to their short supply. But balancing their work and personal lives is hard.

"My parents weren’t happy at first about this job. They think it’s not right for a girl. But when they can see how capable I am, I think they’ll be proud. We’re not allowed a boyfriend, in case we get distracted, but I don’t think that’s a problem." Yang Mei said.

Opportunities in China’s security business are growing, after the industry was legalized in 2010. And China’s elite are feeling increasingly unsafe.

"How can I put it rich people in China are very rich. The poor are very poor. There’s a huge gap. Resentment is growing and the wealthy need protection." Chen Yongqing said.

The market is becoming more sophisticated. Today, students are also learning about client ettiquette. And how to chauffer clients through tight spots. Since last year, guards who pass courses like this, can gain a Security Professional Training Certificate from the government. Allowing for more regulation in the future. And with more women joining China’s rich-list, the number of women qualifying to protect them, is rising too.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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