Building upon the conceptual work of Krahmann and Habermas, this study explains how political power and market forces in China combined to create an enormous domestic market for overseas security services and, at the same time, undermined the full development of domestic private security companies (PSCs). The growing responsiveness of the state to the request for protection of Chinese citizens and assets abroad made room for the initial development of Chinese PSCs’ overseas operations. However, the policy makers’ focus on political loyalty has inhibited the full-fledged maturation of China’s private security industry. So far, large foreign PSCs have been the main beneficiaries of this situation. The future development of Chinese PSCs remains possible in a gradual and pragmatic way, but Chinese policy makers will have to deal with important diplomatic and political questions before the development of any “Chinese Blackwater” will be imaginable.