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  • Nov 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:29am
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PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 11:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2012, 12:45pm

Harbin woman allegedly murdered by WeChat ‘friend’

After Harbin woman Sunli chatted with her new friend Xu Qiang on the popular smartphone app WeChat, she decided to meet him.The small-business owner didn’t know she was meeting her death.

BIO

Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP
 

After Harbin woman Sun Li chatted with her new friend Xu Qiang on the popular smartphone app WeChat, she decided to meet him.

The small-business owner didn’t know she was meeting her death.

What Sun Li also didn’t know was that the man, who was being sought in a rape case, had served 13 years in jail for an unspecified crime.

When Sun Li showed up with her fancy phone and expensive laptop on October 24, Xu killed her, reported Heilongjiang Network Broadcasting Television Station on Wednesday.

He took her belongings, jewellery and bank cards. Xu brutally dismembered Sunli’s body and hid the parts in a suburban forest. 

 

Xu went to three banks in the following days, allegedly withdrawing a total of 17,000 yuan (HK$21,000 ) from Sun Li’s bank account.

He was caught on a bank’s security tape and arrested later by the police. Xu has been charged with murder.

Xin Guomin, a spokesman for the Harbin police, said two most recent murders in Harbin involved the use of WeChat.

Wechat is a mobile text and voice messaging service developed by Tencent in China. It allows users to locate nearby Wechat users by simply shaking the device. It’s become widely popular in mainland China and Hong Kong between friends and associates.

“We’d like to warn people to be very careful when meeting strangers through WeChat,” he said. 

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