A Chinese man who was abducted as a toddler and later adopted by a billionaire family has been found by his birth family, whom he has chosen to return to.
Mei Zhiqiang, 27, was 2 years old when he was abducted by human traffickers from outside his home in Yunnan province in southwestern China in 1997.
Mei was reportedly sold to a family that abandoned him because he was “too thin and small” before he was adopted by a wealthy family reportedly worth billions in southeastern China’s Fujian province.
He subsequently grew up with two older sisters and a younger brother, who were all biological children of his adoptive parents.
Mei reportedly did not attend university after he graduated from secondary school, opting instead to work at his adoptive parents’ hospital.
Mei’s biological parents, Xianhua and Pan Chang’e, who were migrant workers from eastern China’s Jiangxi province, went through a two-decade-long search to find their eldest son.
According to Xianhua, his family, including his wife and three other children, celebrated Mei’s birthday every year in his absence.
Mei’s father would buy cakes for his birthday every year, but they could not bring themselves to eat the cake. They also could not properly celebrate family reunion days like the Mid-Autumn and Spring Festivals.
His birth parents, who are reportedly multimillionaires, even bought their son a house in anticipation of the day he returned.
The family’s search came to an end in June 2022 when their friend, Du Xiaohua, who was searching for his own missing son, helped them find Mei through a DNA match.
Mei immediately reunited with his biological family and has since been working for his birth parents’ family business, a hotel supplies company.
Xianhua hopes to teach Mei how to run the family business so he can eventually take over in the future.
According to Mei, he did not feel weird around his biological family because he said he “can see my parents’ love for me.”
“No matter how rich they are, their love is different from ours – the love of birth parents,” Xianhua reportedly said.
Now that Mei has returned to his biological family, he wishes for a simple and ordinary life. He told local media that he only accepted interviews to be able to bring attention to other families who are still searching for their abducted children.