A 32-year-old man in Zhuhai city is in police custody for selling his six-week-old son online for 50,000 yuan (HK$61,700), the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday.
Authorities were searching for the mother, who was suspected of taking part in the sale on February 1, the paper said.
The unwed couple allegedly sold their child to a couple in Xiamen , Fujian province . The father, originally from Anhui , posted photos of the baby on a social networking site to let potential buyers see him.
The father told Zhuhai police that he was unable to raise two children, so he decided to sell the younger child. The boy was found with the Xiamen couple and returned to Zhuhai to be placed in the care of social welfare workers on February 8.
Police learned of the sale when the mother reported to police that 30,000 yuan was missing from her bank account, which initially had 50,000 yuan. She said the only other person with access to the account was the boy's father.
Police became suspicious of the money's origin and questioned the woman, who admitted the 50,000 yuan came from selling the newborn baby. She was then released and police have been unable to find her or the couple's one-year-old toddler.
Investigators found the father had indeed withdrawn the 30,000 yuan, which he blew in one day on dining and entertainment. He was arrested on February 7 for alleged child trafficking.
The boy's parents worked odd jobs and lived in a rural part of Zhuhai, the newspaper reported. The father also has a family in Anhui, including two boys aged 17 and 14 who are being raised by grandparents because their parents abandoned them more than a decade ago.