DeWe Security, a Chinese private security firm was founded in 2011 by a number of former military and police officers who had first worked together during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They have trained 86,000 Chinese civilian employees since 2013.  DeWe has 352 Chinese employees based abroad, as well as 3,000 locally hired staff working for companies such as China Road and Bridge Corporation building the Nairobi-Mombasa railway, as well as defending CNPC in Sudan. DeWe’s profile rose dramatically last summer when Chinese Poly-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings hired it to manage security at a $4bn LNG project in Ethiopia — the largest project that the Chinese private security industry has been asked to protect. It is operating in South Sudan on contract to its main client the China National Petroleum Corp. Kong Wei, a veteran of the People’s Liberation Army who retired five years ago, is head of DeWe’s office in Juba, South Sudan. DeWe has announced plans to build two “security camps” in South Sudan and the landlocked Central African Republic. These appear to be the first private security facilities of this type to be used by Chinese companies.Based near Beijing airport, DeWe’s compound near Beijing airport has a converted warehouse featuring a mock-up of a Middle East town. The model’s façades are used to practise evasion tactics and hostage rescues. 
Li Xiaopeng, DeWe’s chief executive, told a Beijing forum on overseas security in October that “our next step is to mass-produce [safety camps] in countries with Chinese investments as well as [those] with instability factors”. Hao Gang, a former police official who is DeWe’s general manager for Beijing, says the group’s biggest revenue generator is to provide what he calls “integrated solutions” for Chinese companies going abroad, including training, on-site security and risk assessment.
Hua Xin Zhong An (HXZA), a Beijing company, specialises in maritime security and has a near-monopoly on security for Cosco Holding and China Shipping Container Lines, China’s two largest state-owned shipping groups. Sea marshals working for and its personnel are authorised to use lethal force as a self-defence measure against pirates. Incidentally,Chinese navy escorts can only fire warning shots unless their warship is under direct attack. 
Guanan, a Chinese company with close links to ZhenHua Oil, China’s fifth-largest oil company since 2010 now also provides security to CNPCin Iraq. 
Liu Xinping, Deputy Director of the China Overseas Security and Defense Research Centre, says about 3,200 Chinese employees of private security groups were based abroad last year. 
Dingtai Anyuan International Security & Defense has operations in Iraq, but Tao Dexi, a contractorwith the company says none of the staff of the security companies with which he is familiar is allowed to carry a gun, but under extreme emergencies, Chinese security staff can borrow guns from the local security staff.
Some other companies such as Shandong Huawei, Veterans Security Services and Dingtai Anyuan, have similar profiles and providing guard services abroad and train state company employees. They are cheaper than their foreign counterparts — a team of 12 Chinese guards costs about $700-$1,000 a day, the same as one British or US guard --- and have the advantage of the Chinese language. 
Chinese private security companies service power stations in Iraq; a telecommunications network in Syria; copper mines in Afghanistan; and oil companies in South Sudan. The growth in the use of Chinese security contractors is part of a trend as Beijing looks for ways to protect its assets abroad without resorting to an imperialistic foreign policy that could play badly, both at home and abroad. Yue Gang, a retired PLA officer, says “The need for security protection overseas is quite significant and the army is clearly not suitable for this job due to the potential problems it might cause for foreign relations." Like their western counterparts some Chinese contractors are given jobs that would be politically sensitive if handled by government forces.  
(Comment: Andrew Davenport, chief operating officer of RWR Advisory Group, a risk consultancy has said “The intermingling between PLA and private security contractors often staffed by ‘former PLA’ is a blurry line" and few doubt that the groups are solidly under the control of China’s national security bureaucracy. He described them as representing “a parallel security strategy”. 
Private security firms were only made legal in China in 2010, by legislation that allowed companies to provide armed services to domestic businesses like banks and factories.)

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