Students meet on QQ to commit suicide, court rules Tencent 10% responsible

| December 5th, 2010


(Netease) Lishui City, Zhejiang province People’s court reached the first instance verdict on a civil case regarding university students meeting on QQ to commit suicide. Tencent, the maker of QQ was sentenced to bear 10% of the responsibility.

The plaintiffs are the parents of the suicide student named Fan. They stated, in June of this year, accused student Zhang used QQ sending “suicide invitations” to the public with his cell phone number. Plaintiff’s son Fan accepted the suicide invitation upon receiving it. He met Zhang in a hotel on June 24 to commit suicide together. Because of the unbearable pain, defendant Zhang could not go through with the suicide plan and gave up. However Fan insisted on killing himself and ultimately died.

The two plaintiffs stated their case: defendant Zhang invited their son Fan to commit suicide via the Internet, which led the death of their son; another defendant Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co. Ltd, as a network service provider, did not delete or disable the content of “meeting to suicide” in timely manner, which caused it to spread. Therefore the two defendants should be liable for the death of Fan.

The court announced ruling after the hearing, defendant Zhang had been posting “suicide invitations” at different times and in different QQ groups without targeting specific individuals, and defendant Tencent never took any measures against the information that may be harmful to people’s lives, which resulted Fan and Zhang meeting up to commit suicide. Two defendants’ actions indirectly caused damaging consequences, should bear respective liability according to the proportion of their faults. The two plaintiffs are entitled to request compensation from two defendants who are partially liable.

The court’s first instance verdict as the following: Defendant Zhang, within ten days after the decision, is to pay an one-time compensation to the plaintiffs including 20% of the death compensation, funeral expenses and transportation cost: 101,225 yuan, and 10,000 yuan for pain and suffering, total of 111,225 yuan; defendant Tencent, within ten days after the decision, is to pay an one-time compensation to the plaintiffs, 10% of the death compensation, funeral expenses and transportation cost: 50,612.50 yuan, and 5,000 yuan for pain and suffering, total of 55,612.50 yuan.

26 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Alleycat says:

    Pain and suffering doesn’t seem to get you very far these days in terms of compensation. Anyway, before any measures are taken I wonder how one should define and monitor the information that may be harmful to people’s lives.

  2. Chris says:

    If the suicide was arranged by phone, should the phone company be responsible? If it was arrange by snail mail, should the post office be responsible?

    • s says:

      the thing is phone companies dont listen to ur phone calls, post offices dont read ur mails, however when things are published online it is made to the public, and they have filters to spot these type of things.

      • golf trolley says:

        really, you think so? things are not post in public, to tell the truth,. It is from one account to another. and to tell the truth, the chatting tool do not have right to see what people talking through its service. However, what the government do just seems to give tencent a right to inspect people’s chatting content.

    • C. says:

      Maybe the hotel they met in, or the manufacturer of the knife.

      It looks like the parents just want to get some money for their son’s life, they don’t care who has to give it to them.

      The guy killed HIMSELF, its nobody’s “responsibility”.

  3. Eason says:


    • gongjiao says:

      this word responsibility seems familiar but ive been in china so long i forgot what it means…

      • HH says:

        Aww, then you might consider going back to where you are from and pick up the lost concept. Why bother staying any longer?

  4. FD says:

    Looks like Tencent forgot to pay their bribe this month!

  5. Curren$y says:

    Tencent is ten percent responsible loooooooool

  6. Rob says:

    Why do I always read that American and Chinese are loathe to take responsibility for their own actions and are always looking for someone else to blame.

  7. GuoBao says:

    Why am I not surprised that a verdict like this gets handed down in China? It sounds more like a reminder to keep up the monitoring of everyone to me. Zhang was an idiot but ordering him to cough up 110.000 probably isn’t gonna help with his suicide issues.

    • keius says:

      Maybe this sentence will push him over the edge and actually commit suicide. Then Zhang’s parents can sue the courts and the other parents for pushing him over the edge and get compensation of their own….sigh

      WTF is wrong with this world…when there is no sense of personal f’ing responsibility. It’s a bloody suicide ffs. Isn’t the official stance of the Chinese gov’t that it needs to shed some of it’s surplus population?

  8. Matt says:

    China really is progressing! QQ being 10% responsible for one death in 2010 is a big improvement from Mao being 30% wrong for 70 Million deaths in the 60’s and 70s!

  9. lay low moe says:

    just another example of common sense isn’t so common in China
    logically QQ should not be held responsible for the death

  10. 周玲曼 says:

    我叫周玲曼(CUEB毕业生)。我们在北京5号圆明园西路住。我爸爸是个间谍。他监视很多俄罗斯政治异议人士。我这几天伙伴。虽然我最喜欢性爱但是他应该是个百万富翁。 我等你们的答案按

  11. xian says:

    Sad to see China is going down the political correctness path.. might as well sue the companies that made their computers too

  12. meme says:

    100,000 yuan is 20% of funeral costs?? x 5 = 500,000 = ~USD 75,000! In China! What the hell kind of funeral did this fool get? Was there a parade thrown in for good measure?

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