Chinas Security service ready for foreign investors

Foreign investment will be allowed into China's security service industry next year in line with the country's commitment to the World Trade Organization, a senior official said yesterday.

The industry, currently solely funded and operated by public security departments, will be open to private investors from home and abroad, said Ma Weiya, deputy director of the public order regulation department under the Ministry of Public Security.

"The opening is essential to a rapidly growing industry, and is also our WTO commitment," he said during the first Beijing International Security Forum yesterday.

The security service industry includes bodyguards, transportation protection, residential and office security, and equipment such as alarms.

He added that China's first regulation on the security service industry, which is likely to be issued in the first half of next year, would spell out specific requirements on the opening.

"In principle, foreign investors will be allowed to set up joint-venture security companies in China. But certain areas, such as armed escort service, will remain closed," he said.

Ministry figures show that since the opening of China's first security service company in 1984 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, the country now has about 2,300 companies with 1.03 million staff.

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