9 Stories That Sparked Public Outrage in China in 2013

December 28, 2013 Updated: December 29, 2013

Despite restrictions on what can be reported by state-controlled media, numerous horrific stories of cruelty, particularly towards children, have made headlines, causing Chinese people to reflect on the lack morality and compassion in the country.

1. Boy’s Eyes Gouged Out

Guo Bin, a six-year-old boy in Shanxi Province, was blinded after he had his eyes dug out on Aug. 27. State media reported that the police suspected the boy’s aunt to have committed the crime because of a family dispute over the care of the boy’s grandfather.

2. Man Kills Hotel Guest in Front of Police

Twenty-four-year-old Guo Yudong had an argument over a deposit with a young female hotel clerk at a hotel in Chengdu where he was a guest on July 19. The hotel clerk’s father became so angry with Guo for quarrelling with his daughter that he killed him with a knife despite the police being present.

3. Hospital Doctor Sells Newborn

A young woman, Ms. Dong, gave birth in a hospital in Shaanxi Province on July 16. Her obstetrician, Dr. Zhang Shuxia told the new parents that the baby had syphilis, and convinced them to surrender the baby into her care. Dr. Zhang then contacted a baby trafficker, who bought the baby the next day for 21,600 yuan ($3,531) and resold him for 30,000 yuan ($4,903). Dr. Zhang has allegedly sold other babies to traffickers in the past.

4. Police Officer Throws Baby Down

As part of a drunken “I dare you” bet, police officer Guo Zengxi in Anyang City, Henan Province, hurled a baby girl onto the sidewalk. The infant was diagnosed with several injuries including a fractured skull, and Guo has since been arrested.

5. Two Toddlers Starve to Death After Abandoned by Mother

Two sisters, both under 4 years old, were found dead from starvation on June 24, after their drug-addicted mother abandoned them in their home in Nanjing City.

Around the same time, a similar tragedy took place involving another drug-addicted mother. While hallucinating on “ice,“ the woman wrapped her 5-year-old son’s head in plastic and tied his arms and legs up with rope, killing him.

6. Young Girls Molested by Officials and School Principals

Media reported eight incidents in May involving officials and school principals raping young girls in Hainan, Anhui, Guangdong, Shandong, Hunan, and Henan provinces. Police and authorities were slow to investigate despite public outcry.

7. Man Kills ‘Unfaithful’ Wife

Wealthy entrepreneur Mr. Ji from Nanjing City learned at a party on April 25 that his wife had been unfaithful and that their baby was not his biological child. He got drunk and later killed his wife, leaving behind their 3-month-old baby.

8. Student Poisons Roommate at University in Shanghai

Huang Yang, a graduate student at Fudan University, died in hospital on April 16, about two weeks after drinking “strange-tasting” water from the dormitory dispenser. Police found traces of a rare chemical in the water, and arrested Lin Senhao, one of Huang’s roommates.

9. Car Thief Murders Baby in Stolen Car

A 2-month-old baby boy was left unattended in a car in front of a supermarket in Changchun City on March 4. Zhou Xijun, 48, stole the car, and after discovering the baby in the back seat, he strangled the boy and buried the body in the snow.

Translation by Quincy Yu. Research by Ariel Tian. Written in English by Cassie Ryan.