Adopted Chinese teen commits suicide after being cyberbullied for sharing story about being rejected by biological parents
Trigger warning: Suicide, substance abuse, and cyberbullying.
A 17-year-old Chinese boy, who recently went viral online for sharing his story of being sold as a child and rejected twice when he reunited with his biological parents last year, has reportedly committed suicide on Monday morning, Jan. 24, after netizens attacked his posts.
According to a report by the state-run Chinese media Global Times, Liu Xuezhou was found unconscious on a beach in Sanya, China by police, who received multiple reports from civilians after Liu posted a 10,000-word suicide note on social media site Weibo midnight of that day. The teenager was rushed to the hospital but eventually died from an overdose on his prescribed antidepressants.
In the note he posted on the Chinese microblog site Weibo before his death, Liu said he was a victim of human trafficking and lamented that his short life was destined for misfortune. Liu said that after being abandoned by his biological parents twice, he's had enough of "the dark side of humanity," and was already "too tired to live."
Prior to his death, Liu had reunited with his biological parents on Dec. 15, 2021 for the first time in years since he was sold as a baby at 27,000 yuan (Php 218,922) through a reported human trafficker. He reportedly managed to reconnect through the help of the police and DNA-matching.
Liu shared that their meeting was short of affection as his parents had separated and currently each have their own families, with neither wanting to take him in. Moreover, Liu and his parents allegedly engaged in a heated argument, which led to Liu’s mother Zhang blocking him on WeChat.
Liu’s father Ding Shuangquan told the Chinese press at the time of the post that the teenager was requesting them to provide him a house as he has been living indefinitely from relative to relative ever since his adoptive parents died from a firecracker accident in 2009 when Liu was four years old.
On Jan. 20, Liu shared on Weibo that he had intended to sue his biological parents for abandoning him again, and even posted some of their conversations online. His posts drew flak from netizens, who said Liu only reached out to his birth parents for him to have his own house.
Liu also wrote on his suicide note: “There have been people attacking and cursing me on Douyin and Weibo in the past couple of days. I have been told to ‘go to hell’ and have been called various curse names, such as ‘scheming son of a b****’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘sissy’.”
Police have started an ongoing investigation on Liu’s case and have deleted over 290 posts made by netizens about Liu’s story.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or in need of psychosocial support, please contact the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline. For landline: 1553. For mobile: 0917-899-8727 (Globe/TM), 0966-351-4518 (Globe/TM), or 0908-639-2672 (Smart/Sun/TNT). Or go to bit.ly/mhusaptayo. The crisis hotlines are open 24/7.