China is a country where child trafficking is rampant. Every year thousands of children disappear. Fortunately, the Chinese government has found a new tool to deal with this problem. In 2016, 611 children were rescued, thanks to a new mobile app called: Tuanyuan. Alibaba develops the app, launched in May last year and the App has allowed police officers to share information and work better together. Tuanyuan means “reunion,” and the app has proven that its name is not just for show.
How does it work? Users who live near the site where a child is missing receive messages, including photos and descriptions of the child. In case the child still has not been found, the push notification zone will be extended and sent to users living in nearby areas. The latest version of Tuanyuan upgraded last November, expanded its reach through cooperation with other modern applications, such as online shopping website Taobao, Baidu, instant messaging software QQ by Tencent, or Didi Chuxing.
Children trafficking in China have gone beyond control due to China’s population control policy (one-child policy). A baby boy is always more welcome than a girl, as men in China are considered as the principal source of support for his elderly parents. That also leads to a significant rate of abortions or abandoned girls when the family knows the new baby is not a boy. As a result, it creates a huge imbalance in baby gender, which does not only raises the demand of kidnapping for males but also for girls, as they will be the future brides for the wealthy Chinese families.