Chinese bodyguard entrepreneur sees big profits from protection
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Former soldier Chen Yongqing has big ambitions for his bodyguard training school, charging 500,000 yuan (S$104,000) a year for each protector, as China's rich and famous look to bolster their safety and sense of importance.
Chen's company Tianjiao, which he says is China's first professional academy to train former soldiers and others as bodyguards, is doing so well that he is considering a stock market listing.
"When we started our business, most of our clients were celebrities," Chen, 30, told Reuters. "Most of our clients now are rich entrepreneurs. It's all related to their business because I think bodyguards are also a status symbol."
China's newly wealthy are not generally targeted by criminals and kidnappers - as happens in countries such as Venezuela - but anger is growing about the widening gap between rich and poor.