After being missing for eight years, a man was finally reunited with his family in China after locals posted clips of him on TikTok, also known as video sharing platform Douyin.
Zhu Lei, who has a wife and a 10-year-old son, went missing when he went to work in Shanghai on May 18, 2010, according to his family who spoke to Qianjiang Evening News via South China Morning Post
Zhu appeared to have been begging while wandering eastern China after leaving his hometown in Anhui in 2010. His eventually made it to Huzhen, a town in Quzhou, Zhejiang.
The man, who was only 20 at the time, appeared in front of a restaurant in the town. After seeing his situation, Zheng Yijie, the owner of the restaurant, took pity on Zhu and offered him meals. Another establishment owner nearby also helped Zhu by giving him clothes to wear to keep him warm.
Dedicated to helping him return to his family, Zheng started recording videos of Zhu and posted them on TikTok on November 4 in the hopes of going viral and reaching his hometown. The first few clips were a hit on the social media platform, with a total of over 500,000 views.
Netizens pointed out that it would be difficult for his family to recognize him due to his messy hair and long beard. The restaurant owner then went out of her way to give Zhu a haircut. His sister contacted the restaurant owner shortly after.
Zhu’s sister said that she recognized her brother from the scar on his left knee, which he received when she accidentally cut him at age seven. A couple of days later, Zhu was reunited with his relatives in his hometown.