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"Service agent" industry flourishes in China

(People's Daily Online)    16:07, November 01, 2019

A service agent delivers items he bought for a customer. (Photo/Xinhua)

New job opportunities have emerged as people look for "service agents" to help them in their daily lives. The scope of work for these one-time personal assistants not only includes shopping, making reservations and dog walking, but also making morning calls, sweeping graves and even going on blind dates.

"I have asked a service agent to help run errands for me on more than one occasion. It saves me time and energy. It's very convenient," said Li Tongtong, who lives in Chongqing of southwestern China. She explained that she works in advertising and often sends documents on behalf of clients. This is when such agents become lifesavers.

Li explained that in August this year, she realized she had left a document at the office, but she was already at the train station. As there was not enough time for her to fetch the document, her only solution was to ask the agent to pick it up.

These one-time personal assistants have become commonplace in China. Stranger services, such as going on a blind date, can also be carried out by an agent on the client's behalf.

There are mainly two models of making money for "service agents", industry insiders analyzed. One model does something on the client's behalf, for example, cleaning the house, picking up the car or running errands; the other is to source information and save the client time, doing such things as booking hotels and air tickets at a lower price.

The "service agent" industry is not a new trend in China. However, industry insiders noted that in recent years, the sector has flourished. Insiders added that this type of economy reflects the increasingly refined development of the social division of labor.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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