According to Shangahiist, the Chinese smartphone app enables the hiring of mercenaries who would beat up a target of your choice, for the right price. Most of the thugs featured on the app are gym coaches, retired soldiers, gangsters and criminals, if the app description is to be believed.

Thugs Chinese Smartphone App

Chinese smartphone app: Online talk show created a monster

An online talk show may be responsible for the creation of the Chinese smartphone app, after a skit showed its premise in action. A video shows a nurse and a schoolgirl paying hired muscle to get even with their enemies. Now it seems that the idea has gone from satire to reality.

A fake listing was placed by a reporter from Kunming, China, who was carrying out an investigation of the app. After he posted his ad he was sent the contact details of a thug based in Shanghai, who claimed that he could put anyone in hospital. The price of his services operated on a sliding scale according to the amount of harm that the customer wanted to inflict on the victim, ranging from 200-500 RMB ($30-80).

In order to carry out an attack, the mercenary required a photo of the victim, as well as information as to where and when he could find them. Services were to be booked at least two days prior to the planned attack, and the understanding thug would accept online payment upon completion of the job.

Chinese smartphone app used for illegal activities

A screenshot also appears to show that the app was also used to look for prostitutes. The app has now been removed from app stores, but Qihoo 360’s website appears to show that it was downloaded over 40,000 times from their platform. Changsha Zhang Kong Information Technology Limited is responsible for developing the app, and maintains that it was never supposed to be used for illegal activities. Any ads for thugs for hire will be manually deleted by staff, the company said.

It seems that the app is not the only one to have been repurposed for illicit ends. A Hong Kong prostitution bust revealed that social media app WeChat was being used to search for clients using the “People Nearby” function.