A woman has been sentenced to death in China for trafficking 11 children in a case dating to the 1990s, according to a verdict revealed on the official WeChat account of Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court in Guizhou province.

The child trafficker, Yu Huaying, was found making gains though abducting children in southwestern China, including Chongqing and Guizhou, then taking them to Handan city in northern Hebei province and selling them to buyers between 1993 and 1996, it said.

She committed the crimes with her partner surnamed Gong, who has since died, it said. A further two people who served as intermediaries in trafficking children in Hebei would be punished through separate court actions, according to the post.


A Chinese father’s unrelenting search for his daughter who vanished 15 years ago

A Chinese father’s unrelenting search for his daughter who vanished 15 years ago

Yu was sentenced to death because the court considered her crime caused “extremely significant” social harm and the criminal circumstances were “particularly severe”, according to the post.

It said that instead of confessing her crime and expressing remorse, Yu intended to appeal in court.

Yu was born in 1963 and grew up in an extremely poor town in southwestern Yunnan province, according to Beijing News Radio.


Her first dealing with human trafficking was selling her own son who was born in 1992 from an extramarital affair with Gong when they were both married to other people, Beijing News Radio said.

Trafficking, ‘love scams’: inside raided Chinese gaming firm in the Philippines

Her son was sold in Hebei province for 5,000 yuan because neither Yu nor Gong was capable of raising the boy due to their existing marriages, it said. Her son was not among the 11 victims she was accused of trafficking.

Gong and Yu continued committing crimes after Gong suffered business setbacks, according to the Beijing outlet. The pair operated together, living in a place for a while and getting acquainted with people in the area while searching for a suitable child to target. Once becoming familiar with the children, Yu would lure them away using snacks, it said.

Most victims were from low-income families whose parents could not pay adequate attention because they had to work long hours outside, said Beijing News Radio.


US human trafficking report singles out China and Russia, as Beijing hits back

US human trafficking report singles out China and Russia, as Beijing hits back

Yu was detained by authorities twice in the 2000s for similar crimes involving trafficking children, it said.


One crime dating back three decades was uncovered after a girl abducted in the 1990s eventually found her biological sister and reported to police with more clues that led to Yu’s arrest, said Beijing News Radio.

Child trafficking has been a notorious and long-existing problem in China. From 2010 to 2019, the number of cases of trafficking in women and children nationwide totalled 112,703, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

China moves to make reporting of trafficking mandatory under law revisions

A series of high-profile cases in the past year has pushed the issue into public discourse.


They include a mentally-ill woman named Xiaohuamei – also a victim of human trafficking – who was found living in a shed with chains after having given birth to eight children.