Taobao – the place where you can buy everything… even, it seems, babies. An anonymous seller put an infant up for sale on the online auction site yesterday for the low price of 1RMB. Of no surprise to anyone who’s read of unwanted babies in China – this one was a girl.
According to the sales post, the baby girl was the seller’s sister’s and had been born on April 14, 2008 in Jiangxi. Since the family would rather have a boy, they put the girl up for sale, hoping someone would want to “adopt” her. The seller, registered under the name “Shoot520” had a seller credit of high, and a 97.25% buyer approval rating. The shop had a cell phone number and home address attached.
But virtually as soon as netizens posted screenshots of it onto forums, the baby selling post was quickly removed. “shoot520″‘s store was closed and searching “baby” on Taobao only left users with a message saying “Sorry, the search term “baby” is termporarily not available.”
When asked, Taobao said that the site does not allow human trafficking. As soon as it was alerted, it automatically closed down the shop.
Using the remaining clues, the reporter managed to contact the person who first put the baby up for sale. A man surnamed Yu admitted that he was “shoot520” and that the infant was in fact his sister’s daughter. However, he said, they didn’t mean to try to sell the child… only adopt it out. Already, many people had been in contact with him, but there was no money exchanged.
“The girl is my [elder] sister’s baby, but her in-laws have been a single-family generation, so the in-laws really wanted her to give birth to a baby boy,” he explained.
The article wasn’t clear about what the family was going to do next, but we’re frankly quite horrified. Yes, we know this isn’t anything really new for China – the traditional affinity for men over women plus the one child policy has managed to increase the gender gap to 32 million more boys than girls under the age of 20 with no signs of slowing. We also get that this is probably one of the slightly less sad stories of what happens to female infants – at least she wasn’t sold into sexual slavery (though we guess that would come after she’s able to walk) or abandoned altogether.
At the same time, if all that propaganda and “women hold up half the sky” and economic opportunity can’t change the minds of a good chunk of paternalistic misogynist parents, we’re beginning to wonder what will.
What needs to happen in China for kids to not be put up on Taobao because they happened to be born with a vagina? We honestly don’t know.
Source: Jie Fang Daily