An online platform launched by the Chinese police to rescue abducted children, helped to rescue a two-year-old girl, some 32 hours after she was snatched from her parents.
The girl went missing on Friday while she and her family were changing trains in Hengshui, a city in north China’s Hebei Province.
Police identified a man suspected of snatching the girl on the railway station’s CCTV and broadcast his description via both traditional media and the new Ministry of Public Security (MPS) platform.
The suspect, a native of Anyang City, Henan Province, was arrested in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou.
Further investigation into the case is under way.
More than 5,000 police officers can provide updates on missing children via the app “Tuanyuan” — “reunion” in Chinese — developed by Alibaba, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
Police everywhere can now share information and work together via the app, said Liu Zhenfen, chief risk officer of Alibaba.
The new system went live on May 11 and already has more than 1,50,000 followers.
Users near to where a child disappears receive push notifications, including photos and descriptions.
The scope of these push notifications will be expanded over time, depending on the success of the system.
“If the child has been missing for one hour, the push notifications are sent within a radius of 100 km; after two hours, 200 km; three hours, 300 km and thereafter, 500 km,” Meng Qingtian of the MPS anti-trafficking squad said.
Child trafficking has emerged as a major challenge for the Chinese government in the recent years.
According to unofficial data two lakh children go missing in China every year and over six lakh missing children were yet to be traced.
The abducted children mostly from the migrant labour families were sold to child less couples or initiated into criminal activities by organised gangs.
Many people passed on information about the missing toddler to the police via the platform, despite it only being on trial at the time, Meng said.
This directly helped police to find the missing girl within two days.
Meng said the platform will bring together more mobile apps, encouraging the public to help in anti-trafficking work and reunite more stolen children with their families.