A desperate Chinese father who has been trying to raise money to fund his sick son’s medical bills had his online crowdfunding accounts frozen after it was revealed that he was also trying to sell his young daughter.
The father, identified as Liang Yujia, drew public outrage after he was reportedly seen peddling his 3-year-old daughter for money on a street in Chengdu. The area is near the West China Second University Hospital of Sichuan University, where his son Cheng Cheng was being treated.
Liang was photographed with a signboard that said he was willing to “give” his “lovely and cute” daughter to anyone who could provide money to treat the girl’s twin brother who was battling leukemia.
In it, he explained that his son was diagnosed with leukemia last month and had so far spent 50,000 yuan ($7,300) for his treatment. In order to save his son, he would need an additional 500,000 to 600,000 yuan ($72,700- 87,300). He also wrote that his family is from Emeishan City in Sichuan Province.
After an image picture of Liang, his daughter and the signboard was uploaded to Chinese social media, it immediately went viral, causing outrage from netizens.
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Critics accused Liang of being gender biased for seemingly preferring his son over his daughter. Others called Liang’s attempt to sell his daughter a blatant “daylight human trafficking.”
Some also dismissed him as a fraud and suspected that he made up everything for money.
In later interviews following the backlash, Liang told local news platforms that he was not actually selling his daughter but only trying to get attention to his son’s condition.
Meanwhile, Liang’s wife said that they have been struggling to cover their son’s medical expenses since their family only has a combined monthly income of around 7,000 yuan ($1,000).
Liang managed to raise and withdraw 44,508 yuan ($6,500) from a platform called “Ai Xin Chou.” Using other crowdfunding platforms, Liang was able to raise around 90,000 yuan (over $13,000).
While the entire amount would have been a huge help to cover part of his son’s medical bills, two of the three websites have apparently decided to shut his account down after the public expressed their complaints.
Liang, however, insisted that he was merely forced to put up the signboard after seeing other examples of similar stunts online.
“Chun Yu Chou,” one of the two platforms that suspended Liang’s account, has since offered to issue the family a 50,000 yuan ($7,300) advance to help cover the bills while it further investigates his account.