JINAN, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Security guards are no longer just for China's rich and famous thanks to a new mobile app.
Security-on-demand app Jinyiwei was launched in east China's Qingdao City by Qingdao Sailei Information Technology Co. Ltd. It cooperates with 47 security companies in the coastal city, with about 50,000 security guards ready for hire.
App users can see how many security companies and personal guards are in the vicinity, said Li Shangshang, the app's creator.
For instance, if a mother wants to send her child to a location, she can indicate the starting point, time and the destination, and the security service will take care of everything.
"You can place orders according to your specific needs," Li said. "If, for example, you only need one security guard, the one closest to you will take your order." If companies need to transport valuable items, security companies will fulfill their orders with their own staff.
Li said that the app will be useful in interpersonal disputes or cases of harassment.
"This app makes calling for security guards as easy as hailing a taxi on the (popular taxi-hailing app) Didichuxing," Li said. "Some people have even called us 'Didi Security Guards.'"
But Li rejected accusations that the app was copying Didichuxing.
"In this Internet-sharing era, business models can be similar, but the service is completely different," Li said.
The app was inspired by the difficulty of hiring professional security, Li said.
"In our daily lives, there are times when we need security, such as when receiving VIPs at airports or handling an unexpected crisis, but what are the proper procedures for finding one?" Li said.
Mobile apps and the "sharing economy" have provided a solution. The app allows companies and individuals to find security guards, while also broadening the services of security companies, according to Li.
Zhao Weina, director of operations with the app's investor, Qingdao Alading Group, said that they plan to cooperate with security companies across the country.
"We also plan to launch services abroad, because many individuals and Chinese companies operating overseas need to hire security guards, particularly in some unstable areas," Zhao said. "I think it will be a good opportunity for us."
But the service has also fueled concerns that the app will facilitate attacks or assault between parties in disputes.
Li Shangshang said that the app is all about providing safety, and that there are strict laws and regulations to follow.
"It's not that we will help users attack others," Li said.
The app has tough procedures for hiring security personnel, Li said. "Most of the security guards we hire are veteran soldiers."
The guards must upload their ID cards and demobilization certificates before they can be verified on the app. They are also taught etiquette and wear uniforms.
"The platform also helps soldiers find jobs after retirement," Li said.
Customers will be refunded if their property is lost during the process, Li added.
"Jinyiwei" was the name for the imperial guards of China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), who were trusted knights of the emperor and directly responsible for his safety.