Couple sells children to fund in-app purchases

A Chinese couple has sold not one, but two newborn children into child trafficking, as a way of raising money to help pay for a crippling gaming addiction.

Accused of child trafficking, A Mei talks to reporters from her detention centre

Accused of child trafficking, A Mei talks to reporters from her detention centre

Both parents admit they are addicted to free-to-play games, which are enjoying a popularity boom in China. The mother of the children, known only as A Mei, told reporters that her husband (known as A Hui) “likes buying items in online games, and he likes staying out all night at internet cafes”.

With limited funds available, the couple were forced to make a decision: Spend money on their newborn son, or continue playing video games. The son was soon sold to Fujian-based child traffickers.

Child trafficking is highly illegal in China, and is a major problem facing the country. Children are sold to street gangs, peddlers and even on an international black market to couples who want Chinese children.

When A Mei became pregnant again, the couple’s financial situation had not improved. Still unable to support a baby, the couple’s second son was also sold to traffickers.

After the second child disappeared, A Hui’s father had his suspicions. He reported the couple to local authorities, and they were promptly arrested. Both A Hui and A Mei are in jail facing trial.

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