An insider takes readers into the underbelly of China’s fake professionals sector

By Doron A. Reshen Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/19 17:28:39

There are jobs for foreigners pretending to be doctors, lawyers, scientists, CEO, and other professionals in China. Photo: IC

Every day millions of people do jobs that few think about or even know exist, from sewage unclogger and bull masturbator to gum buster and crime scene cleaner.

Now, all those jobs, though important, are not glamorous, nor do they have the best salary. But what if I told you there is a job out there that many people have never heard about but whose workers are known by tens of thousands, if not more?

What if I told you that the people who have this job only work two to 10 days a month and never need to do anything more than dress professionally and sit or sometimes talk for a few minutes and that they usually get a tailor-made wardrobe made of some of the finest fabrics?

What if I said that these individuals often get to travel the world first class, eat at some of the most exclusive places, stay in suites at five-star hotels and are pampered and treated like royalty anytime they are at work?

Also, what if I said they make anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000 and more tax-free each month for doing almost nothing and do not need to graduate high school?

So, let me answer the question many of you are asking as to why anyone would pay someone so much to do almost nothing.

A secret sector

Well, what happens is that when a company tries to sell itself to new and current investors and clients, they need someone to be the "face" of the company and help build confidence in their business and products. That is where the fake professionals come in. In simple terms, the companies hire people to act the part.

This probably reminds you of that old saying, "If it is too good to be true, then it probably is." However, this is no fairy tale. This is simply the world of fake professionals.

So, what are fake professionals? It is as simple as the name says. They are people who act as though they are doctors, lawyers, scientists, CEOs, CFOs or whatever the job requires them to be.

Now, I am not talking about movie and TV actors here, although many of them are or were professional actors at one time or another. These are people who play a role in real life that affects real people, and the people they are acting for have no idea that they are acting.

Over the past two decades, this industry has seen a steady rise in growth throughout many industries.

Then why have you never heard of this kind of work, or if you have, why have you not been able to find it? Simply put, those who run these agencies do not advertise. Jobs like these are almost always gained through a friend or someone who knows you and can recommend you. Think of it as a secret organization; the only way in is to be recruited by a current member.

You might be wondering if I will tell you how to get this kind of work and find an agent to get in. Before we even go there, I want to tell you a few stories about both the wonderful and the dark side of this kind of job.

The stories you will read about are 100 percent true and come from people in the industry. However, names and locations have been changed to protect their privacy. With that said, let's begin our journey into the world of fake professionals!

A change of fate

Let's start with a friend of mine. For this story, we will call him Peter and say he is from Canada.

Peter, who had been in China for just over two years, was not having the best of luck. The agent who convinced him to come to China lied to him and gave him a fake visa. He spent almost nine months trying to fix his visa issue and get honest work. Then, one night he returned home after hanging out with some friends and found his place robbed. He lost everything he had and all he worked for up to that point. The police could not help, and he found himself sitting in an empty apartment, alone and crying.

He felt lower than the lowest and even considered going to the window and jumping. While he sat there, he received a call from a British guy he met a few weeks prior. The man recruited him into a world he never knew existed. After talking to the man, he agreed to meet him the following day.

The next day, as Peter sat listening to the man, he thought that the job he was being offered did not sound real, but he also knew he had little choice. The job gave him a way to be back on top within a few months and help recoup most of what he lost.

Peter was lucky. He was offered one of the best of these types of jobs. He received a starting pay of $10,000 a month and had to be on call every day in return. The agent would buy him new suits, shoes and everything he needed.

Peter, agreed to take the job, and the agent, knowing what happened to Peter, gave him an advance on his first pay so that he could live. Two days later, a tailor came to his home, took all his measurements and left.

Within a week 10 brand new suits, 20 shirts, 10 handmade ties, three pairs of shoes, 12 tailor-made socks and travel bags were all delivered. Peter started to feel like his life began to change.

Within a few days, Peter was on a flight to a southern city in China, first class.

He was picked up at the airport by a limo and brought to a five-star hotel where he found a suit waiting for him. After checking in, he received a call from one of the agent's assistants. He was told to enjoy himself, order anything he wanted, bill everything to his room and to be in the lobby the next day at 4 pm.

Feeling a bit awkward, he ordered a full meal with room service, a spa treatment and a massage. He felt like a million dollars and was living the life too.

The next day he got fully dressed and was taken to a conference where he was told to sit on stage and look serious, so he did.

Two hours later he was driven back to his hotel where he enjoyed another wonderful and pampered night before flying back to Beijing the next afternoon.

Now, four years later, Peter has saved so much money that he was able to buy two homes in Beijing and a car. He travels around the world, and his monthly pay is almost $15,000.

Now, this sounds amazing I am sure, but let's also look at the opposite side of this industry.

Although profitable, working in the fake professionals industry can also be risky. Photo: IC

The other side of the coin

One of the men I have worked with, let's call him John Smith, lives here in China and told me about a time when he and two others went to Australia for a weekend job.

He works as a CFO. The other two are the CMO and CEO. The duo arrived a few hours before Smith, and when they arrived, they did the same thing they always do. They go to immigration and tell them that they are in town for a weekend trip. Unfortunately, they did not know that one of the competing agents had tipped off immigration that they were coming and that they would be there for work.

You see, competing agents will try to screw over their competition so that they can come in and take the client. They don't care who they hurt as long as they walk away with more money.

So, back to Smith and the other two; the issue was that they were there for work and did not have work visas. What's more, they lied about why they were there. So Australian immigration held them for questioning.

Because they were being held, they had no way to tell Smith what was happening, so when he landed the immigration officers got him too.

He spent six hours in a room being interrogated before he and his friends were let go. They never changed their story of being on holiday and never made it obvious that they knew each other.

After they had been let go, they were told by their "handler" to just spend the weekend sightseeing and not to go to the conference because someone might be watching them.

So, not only do you have to travel and worry about being caught working in places you are not allowed to but you also have to worry about competing agents working to take down your agent and his or her workers, which includes you.

For obvious reasons, I can't tell you how to get into this industry. However, I will say that for every wonderful story out there about this kind of work, there are also many bad ones.

Be careful if you choose this type of job, and enjoy the ride while your job lasts.

Newspaper headline: Confidence men


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