By Bruce Alexander
According to a story in Spiegel Online, the online version of the German news magazine Der Spiegel (The Mirror), Executive Protection is a growth business in China. The demand for Executive Protection is driven by the customary factors accompanying economic growth in a developing country such as threats associated with increased wealth. Like the former Soviet Union, organized crime has taken hold in China and some of this demand for protection comes from organized crime (which can hardly be considered your typical Executive Protection service). Additionally, Western firms in China employ Executive Protection services as do visiting celebrities.
Not surprisingly the Executive Protection business in China is a closed shop meaning unless you’re connected with the State in some official or semi-official capacity, forget about hanging up your Executive Protection diploma and opening up shop to respond to this growing demand.
The one statistic that I found surprising was the 4,000 kidnappings that took place in China in 2004. It’s not clear where these statistics came from but like everywhere else, the real number is probably higher since kidnappings are not always reported to the authorities.