Chinese taxi driver finally reunited with missing daughter after 24-year search

Father’s refusal to give up hunt to find girl who disappeared in 1994 is ultimately rewarded after she responds to social media appeal

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 6:07pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 April, 2018, 6:01pm

A taxi driver from southwest China who spent 24 years searching for his missing daughter will finally be reunited with her on Tuesday after she responded to his appeal for information.

Wang Mingqing and his wife Liu Chengying briefly took their eyes off their daughter Qifeng, who wandered off while they were busy running their fruit stall in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, in January 1994.

The girl’s father told the West China Daily: “It was only five minutes and then my daughter was gone.”

The couple abandoned their stall to search for their daughter, but for years their efforts appeared to be in vain.

Although the couple went on to have a second child, they never gave up looking for the girl.

In 2015 Wang became a taxi driver. When he noticed how much his customers were using their phones, he enlisted their help by asking them to post appeals on social media in the hope his missing daughter might see them. 

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He also printed and distributed 10,000 fliers that outlined the details of the case, including a description of how the young girl looked when she went missing in January 1994 and a local newspaper also published a report about his appeal. 

Over the past three years Wang had been contacted by scores of young women who suspected they might be his daughter, but DNA tests ruled this out. 

One of 60 million: life as a ‘left-behind’ child in China

There are no official statistics about how many children go missing in China each year, but it is a long-standing problem in the country.

Every year tens of thousands are believed to be kidnapped, many of whom are then sold on for adoption. 

Two weeks ago a 27-year-old woman in Jilin province contacted the Wangs via social media after reading about his search and realising she might be the girl in question.

The woman had been told she was adopted as a child and grew up under the name Kang Ying in a town only 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from her birth parents. 

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With the help of a non-governmental organisation that helps reunite parents with their missing children, the woman, now a mother of two young children, took a DNA test that on Sunday confirmed she was Wang’s daughter.

She is flying to Chengdu on Tuesday to meet her birth parents.