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Internet firm, Shenzhen police join forces to stop suicide

/ 01:50 PM January 22, 2019
Internet firm, Shenzhen police join forces to stop suicide

The initiative, called We Light and launched in July, is the country’s first cooperative project between the police and an enterprise to help those thinking about killing themselves. Chinanews.com via China Daily/Asia News Network

SHENZHEN — Thirty-five people contemplating suicide have been rescued in China since July in a joint effort by internet giant Tencent and the Shenzhen police to prevent people from carrying out the act.

The initiative, called We Light and launched in July, is the country’s first cooperative project between the police and an enterprise to help those thinking about killing themselves.

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More than 2,000 group accounts on QQ – Tencent’s social media platform – that publish suicide-related information have been shut down over the period.

“The launch of the We Light initiative signals a new stage in cooperation between the police and enterprises,” said Zhang Yong, head of the internet police unit at the Shenzhen municipal public security bureau.

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Under the initiative, a quick help and rescue channel was set up between Tencent and the Shenzhen police. QQ users who find a person contemplating suicide can report the information on the Tencent platform, which will immediately inform the police.

In one case, the police successfully prevented a man in Hefei, Anhui province, from killing himself two hours before he planned to end his life.

Having received a tip from a QQ user, and learning that the man was in Hefei, the police immediately contacted local officers, who found the person in six hours and dissuaded him.

“We hope to put our idea – to let technology do good for society – into practice with our efforts, and join hands with all sectors to create a harmonious, healthy and sustainable internet environment. We hope to make everyone’s life better with the help of the internet,” said Yu Haitao, general manager of Tencent’s information security department.

The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public, especially those who may have mental health issues, that they can contact the DOH’s 24/7 Hopeline to either help them unburden their emotional baggage or to seek professional help. Hopeline can be reached via hotlines 804-HOPE (4673); 0917-558-HOPE (4673); or 2919 (toll-free number for Globe and TM subscribers).

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TAGS: Asia, China, Internet, police, Shenzhen, Suicide
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