Image copyright Tencent Image caption Chen Lei, who was held by a family in China for almost 14 years, was finally reunited with his son
A Chinese couple have been reunited with their son, nearly 14 years after the boy was abducted.
The saga began in 2004 when Chen Lei went to his wedding and asked to borrow the money of his friend’s wife.
Lei’s son, Danhua, was allegedly kept by a family in the city of Yizhou, in central China’s Jiangxi province.
Tencent Holdings and Weibo posted tearful updates on Danhua’s plight last year – prompting public support and even a hit film.
The Yizhou family have now offered to pay for the boy’s education and promised to start sending Danhua to school as soon as possible.
Image copyright Tencent Image caption Danhua and his father have been reunited following an online campaign inspired by a hit movie
It began in late 2016, when an internet user posted a photo of a baby boy wearing just a diaper and little else, trapped in a plastic bag.
The child’s adoptive father, Shen Guojie, went online to express his dismay.
Since the post on Weibo, Shen has been posting about his son’s plight with earnestness and transparency.
Image copyright Weibo Image caption In his post, Shen Guojie asked Chinese people to help rescue the boy
Soon, after he was noticed by friends, a follower had also tracked down Danhua’s family, and asked him to come out.
Four months later, Weibo announced that a $250,000 (£205,000) reward had been offered for the safe return of the baby.
Image copyright Sihanwang overflight Image caption More than 100,000 people have followed the campaign on Chinese social media site Weibo
After an initial failed attempt, a public appeal and private negotiations, a Weibo user managed to help persuade the boy’s mother, Zhang Dai, to give in and give up her son.
Shen contacted Danhua’s adoptive mother at the beginning of June and they agreed to become friends.
Image copyright CNN Image caption Weibo began a public appeal last year, after an internet user shared a picture of Danhua trapped in a plastic bag
Tencent and Weibo published regular updates about Danhua’s plight, drawing sympathy from other members of the public.
One post, which was shared by 1.3 million people, had the headline “Going to give you a huge hug for your kids.”
Image copyright Tencent Image caption Tencent and Weibo have now posted a photo of the reunion
In May, Danhua’s biological father, who was unaware of the child’s whereabouts, learned that his son had escaped from the family, hidden in a roadside restaurant in Yizhou.
“Having lost all faith in God, I hope that Danhua will go forward to find a mother for him, and find a home of his own,” Chen Lei told Weibo.