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China: Around The Nation

Random act of kindness helps bring WeChat suicide note writer back from brink in China

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 8:29pm

A young woman in southern China helped talk a heavily indebted young man out of committing suicide in the country’s north after a random encounter on messaging service WeChat, Chinese media report.

The woman in her early 20s received a suicide note from the man in Changchun, Jilin province, through the service’s “Drift Bottle” feature, New Cultural News reported.

The feature operates like a message in a bottle, allowing users to send or receive text or voice messages from random users around the world.

In the message, the man said he was 200,000 yuan (US$30,200) in debt, didn’t deserve to live and had failed his parents. “I love you Mum and Dad. I am going to kill myself now,” he wrote.

The woman said she was worried at first that the message might be a scam but she decided to do her best to talk the man out of suicide.

WeChat is top workplace communications app for 90 per cent of Chinese professionals

She replied, telling him she was also a young graduate starting out in her career, facing uncertainties over the future and struggling on a salary of less than 3,000 yuan a month.

The man did not offer any contact details so after the exchange she wrote about the encounter on Weibo, another popular Chinese social media platform, the report said.

She finally received a message from him on December 1 when the young man confirmed that he was still alive and did not commit suicide.

“I have decided to pick myself up, to move on with my life and pay my debt. I was not strong enough but thank you so much. I should buy you dinner if there is such a chance in the future,” he said in the message.