THE parents of a student who killed himself in a suicide pact arranged via instant messaging service QQ are suing the Shenzhen firm which runs the service, a court official in Zhejiang Province said yesterday.
The 20-year-old Shanghai university student, identified as Fan, responded to an invitation to commit suicide circulated by a man identified as Zhang in June through QQ, run by Shenzhen-based Tencent, earlier media reports said.
Fan went to Lishui in the eastern province of Zhejiang to meet Zhang, 22.
The two burned charcoal in a sealed-up hotel room in an attempt to kill themselves by inhaling carbon monoxide, according to the reports.
Zhang left the hotel room after getting a headache, but Fan stayed put and died a few hours later, they said.
Fan’s parents have demanded that Zhang and Tencent pay a combined total of more than 270,000 yuan (US$41,000) in compensation, said an official at the court in Lishui which is hearing the case.
The couple accused Zhang of inducing their son to commit suicide and failing to prevent his death after he himself abandoned the attempt, according to earlier reports.
They also claimed that Tencent failed to delete or block information about the suicide pact.