April 3, 2018

A fruit-seller in China became a ride-sharing driver in the hope of finding his daughter, who had gone missing 2 decades earlier, at the age of 3,

Wang Mingqing and his wife had been searching for Qifeng all those years — searching the city of Chengdu, putting ads in newspapers and on line. He thought becoming a driver for Didi Chuxing might give his search new reach, and he had signs in his car and gave out cards about the missing Qifeng.
Mr Wang did not have a picture of Qifeng as a toddler so he used a picture of his other daughter in his leaflets, as they looked similar.... "One day, my daughter may just be the person sitting in my car!" he was quoted as saying.
No, the woman did not get into his car one day. His method of searching caught the attention of the media, and that led to a police sketch artist working with Wang to produce a drawing of the adult Qifeng, where it was seen by a woman who lived in a distant city. The woman, called Kang Ying, thought it looked like her, and like Qifeng, she had a small scar on her forehead and she got nauseated when she cried. A DNA test proved that Kang Ying was Qifeng.

The father is quoted — "I can't tell you how much hope, disappointment and despair we have gone through these past 24 years. Now we can finally meet again" — but we're not told how Qifeng disappeared or what she's been doing all these years. I'd like to hear more about what happened, but perhaps the real story for us is that tells us something about China to know that this is what has (supposedly) captured the hearts of the people or this is what the media in China are serving up for the entertainment and delight of the people.


Ann Althouse said...

I almost gave this post the tag fake news, but I thought my reason might be misunderstood considered way too cynical. But if you understand why I used the tag "Uber," you might see why I wanted to do that. I only refrained because I didn't want it to be a distraction (more than this comment is a distraction).

rhhardin said...

The headline is that the Chinese can tell each other apart.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

TWO child? In China 24 years ago?

Curious George said...

Then he threw her down a wishing well, asking for a son.

Larry J said...

TWO child? In China 24 years ago?

There were exceptions to China's One Child Policy:

A couple may give birth to a second child if:

(1) The couple has just one child, who is handicapped or unable to work because of non-hereditary diseases.

(2) Both parents are only children themselves, and have just one child so far.

(3) The couple adopted their first child because one of them was diagnosed as infertile.

(4) The couple remarried but have only one child in total.

(5) The couple are ethnic minorities who moved to the city from provinces bordering other countries and were given permission from a high-ranking Family Planning office before they moved.

(6) The husband has brothers, but only one brother is able to give birth, and the others have promised not to adopt.

(7) The husband is a farmer who married a woman already with a daughter (this only if that husband pledges to care for the woman’s parents).

(8) The couple are rural farmers, in which one spouse is a handicapped soldier with an injury grade B or above or can no longer work.

(9) The couple are farmers from the deep mountains who only have a daughter, depend on farming and are poor.

Hagar said...

(10) Their first child disappeared?

The story goes to show that the Chinese are not all that much different from us.

Hagar said...

BTW, I am reading a travelogue from China published 125 years ago, and it quotes a Chinese mythical story quite similar to Qifeng's, though involving gods and such rather than Uber and social media.

gspencer said...

Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

Though the Simpsons have a better angle on this,

Duff beer for me
Duff beer for you
I'll have a Duff, you have one too!
Duff beer for me
Duff beer for you,
I'll have a Duff, you have one too!

CJ said...

Ann, you nailed it with this:

“Id like to her more about what happened, but perhaps the real story for us is that tells us something about China to know that this is what has (supposedly) captured the hearts of the people or this is what the media in China are serving up for the entertainment and delight of the people.”

Chinese news/propaganda is comical.

I spent a week in Shanghai a few years ago - a sinkhole in Florida had swallowed a house or a car or something and it was Front Page News of Shanghai Daily for 2 days. This is a country with 1.5bn people and a city 20 million people, and the top news story was a sinkhole in Florida.

The editorial I read one day was the epic situation of a young man not offering his seat on the bus to a senior, and how this showed how rude the younger generation was.

The Chinese really have an incredibly Orwellian system (and i don’t mean that in a diffuse way), since that seems to be a theme today.

John Lynch said...

More and more often the news doesn't tell me the answers I most want.

CJ said...

"More and more often the news doesn't tell me the answers I most want."

I'm sure you've heard this one before, but as Iowahawk said: "Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow. Until they stop moving."

LarsPorsena said...

I'd say his chances were one-in-a billion.

StephenFearby said...

I read this moving story earlier but forgot a very similar story, but without the (much delayed) happy ending, was broadcast by PBS on Saturday Night.

The Child in Time, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, a movie adaptation of:

("...[the 1987] novel by Ian McEwan. It won the Whitbread Novel Award for that year. The story concerns Stephen, an author of children's books, and his wife, two years after the kidnapping of their three-year-old daughter Kate. Author Christopher Hitchens viewed the novel as McEwan's masterpiece.[1]

Stephen Lewis is, by his own admission, an accidental author of children's books. One Saturday, on a routine visit to the supermarket, during a moment's distraction, he loses his only daughter, Kate. Since then, the only purpose in his life is that he is a member of a committee on childcare. Otherwise, he spends his days lying on the sofa drinking scotch and watching mindless TV programmes and the Olympic games. His wife, Julie, has moved away and become a recluse, and he visits her very rarely. He has a close friend, Charles Darke, who published his first novel and who is now a junior Minister in the Cabinet, and the Prime Minister's favourite. Darke's own wife, Thelma, is a quantum physicist. She engages Stephen with her outlandish theories on time and space. However, his friends' lives change irrevocably in a way he cannot understand, and he is a helpless bystander. Charles Darke and his wife leave their life in London for a place in the countryside, where a few years later, Charles commits suicide..."


You get the drift. Both the novel and the movie wallow in a multi-layered shithole of alienation and grief.

Pertinent snippet from a movie review:

"...Investing in the alienation and the floundering attempts to find meaning is crucial to embracing what “The Child in Time” is. The viewer must go along with Stephen on this strange and intimate journey because only by enduring the torture and confusion can the catharsis occur."


If you like to wallow, be my guest. In contrast, I greatly admire the Chinese father's fighting, never-give-up approach.

Anonymous said...

I want to know more about the adoptive parents. Just how do they feel about all this?

tim maguire said...

So what's the consensus here? I think it's a beautiful amazing story. Is it real or am I a sucker?