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Chinese couple sells their children to traffickers, uses the money to buy in-game items

Chinese couple sells their children to traffickers, uses the money to buy in-game items

| July 9, 2014

Free-to-play games are all the rage in China, but Chinese gamers often shell out a small fortune for in-game items in their favorite games, like weapons and armor. But a young couple in China took things way too far when they sold their two sons to child traffickers and used the proceeds to buy stuff in online games.

The parents in question are A Hui and A Mei (not their full names), a young, unwed couple from China’s post-90s generation. In a television interview on Guangdong TV conducted from a local detention center, they revealed that their first child was not planned, and A Mei said that A Hui had no intention of supporting the child financially. Instead, to avoid the financial burden, they sold him to Fujian-based child traffickers.

(See: Korean father suffocates his crying son, abandons body to play games.)

But then, A Mei got pregnant again. “[A Hui] likes buying items in online games, and he likes staying out all night at internet cafes,” A Mei told reporters. So many of their collective resources were going into A Hui’s gaming that the two felt, again, that they wouldn’t be able to support the child. So, once again, they sold him to traffickers.

Child trafficking is a serious problem in China that affects thousands of people every year (full disclosure: a few years ago I made a documentary film about child trafficking in China). Traffickers sell children to new parents, to street gangs and street peddlers, and even to orphanages for adoption overseas.

(See: Parents: THIS is how you deal with your child playing too many video games)

Trafficking is highly illegal, of course—convicted child traffickers often face execution—and parents who sell children to traffickers are also violating the law. A Hui’s father, who was aware of what the couple were doing with their kids, finally reported the problem to police, and both A Hui and A Mei were arrested. The two are now in jail awaiting trial and sentencing for the crime of selling children.

(via Sina Games)

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