China’s ‘Chained Woman’ Scandal Fuels Outrage in Los Angeles

Crowds of Chinese Americans held rallies in Los Angeles, calling for global attention to China’s “chained mother” amid billions of views on the subject on China’s social media platforms.

On Feb. 19, demonstrators held SOS signs and handed out flyers at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, speaking up for an alleged victim of human trafficking in rural China, a mother of eight who had been chained up in a shack for more than 10 years.

Organizers say this is an emergency support event that hopes to bring global attention to the victim, who is currently under control of Chinese authorities, and to the issue of human trafficking in China.

Chinese Americans rally at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, calling for global attention to China’s ‘chained mother,’ a victim of human trafficking, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 19, 2022. (Han Bing/The Epoch Times)

CCP Source of All Evils: Organizer

“This is totally against humanity and unacceptable,” resident Ken Zheng said in an interview with New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television, a sister media of The Epoch Times. He said that what shocked him most was the top-down inaction of the Chinese communist regime in response to the tragic story.

“The [Chinese] government attempted to cover up the scandal at all,” Zheng continued. “Most probably, they operated in collusion [with human traffickers], which set off our huge indignation.”

California-based practicing lawyer Liu Fenglan described the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as conniving in the practice of human trafficking, based on its inconsistent statements and suppression of posts following the scandal.

“[Human trafficking] feels like an industry chain that the whole [Chinese] government operates,” Liu told NTD. “The chain that trades women and children financially benefits government officials at all levels.”

The lawyer regarded the CCP’s laws protecting women and children as a de facto cloak.

“You wouldn’t even chain your pets,” said Nancy Jiang. “But she [the mother] was chained with a lock and lived in a contemptible setting. The world should awaken to this event.”

On the following day, a similar protest played out in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.

“Essentially, it is the Chinese communist regime that is responsible for such countless tragedies in China,” said Jie Lijian, one of the organizers. “Only the CCP is the source of all evils.”

‘Chained Mother:’ Eye of Chinese Social Media Storm

On Jan. 28, a video showing a chained, middle-aged woman went viral on Chinese social media, shaking up Chinese social media platforms.

The woman, who allegedly gave birth to eight children, was spotted in Dongji Village, Huankou Town, Fengxian County, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province. Netizens suspected she had been trafficked and sexually abused, at the least, by the Party chief of the village and her so-called husband Dong Zhimin, his brother, and his father.

On Feb. 14, China-based film director Wang Shengqiang confirmed on Chinese social media service Weibo that the woman was Li Ying, a young girl who was kidnapped at 13 and repeatedly trafficked, according to a local source. Most of the chained woman’s teeth had been pulled out with pliers due to her resistance when men attempted to rape her, said the source in a recording. Later, the director hinted on social media that deletion of his posts was due to pressure from local officials.

Chinese authorities have not yet confirmed that the chained woman is Li Ying. Nor do their inconsistent statements, that include alleged DNA test results, convince the public that she is the woman they have identified her as. Contrarily, internet users post evidence and analysis refuting the official narratives.

As of Feb. 22, around 17:00 local time, views on the topic on Weibo hit more than 4.8 billion, and there were 3.7 million discussions.

Tip of the Iceberg

Indications on social media platforms show the appalling case is far from isolated.

Some internet users posted that they were born and raised in the same county and that human trafficking was common there due to China’s previous one-child policy, rural poverty, and collusion between local officials, police officers, human traffickers, and potential buyers.

More alarmingly, indications suggest the illegitimate practice is not unique to the province of Jiangsu.

A netizen from Sichuan Province, who called herself KAICELIN, posted a similar story about her sister who disappeared together with two of her classmates (a male and a female) after they celebrated graduating from high school by eating in a local restaurant in 1988.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese internet user calling herself KAICELIN posts her sister’s story of being trafficked to Baihe County, Shaanxi Province, and experiencing rape in 1988. (Chinese social media/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Her sister was found five years later in Lilong Village, Yue’er Town, Baihe County, Shanxi Province, appeared to be mentally ill, and was a mother of four  according to the post. Fortunately, she returned to normal after three years of medical care in Beijing.

According to the survivor, local police beat her male classmate to death and threw his body into the Baihe river. She said his beautiful girl friend died, too, from being repeatedly raped by local officials and enforcement officers, who discarded her corpse in the river right in front of her.

Trafficked women are first raped by local officials and police officers and then be sold to wifeless, poverty-stricken, males in the countryside, the whistleblower said her sister had told her.

Additionally, the whistleblower said her family had tried to petition higher authorities to seek justice for her sister for years but without success.

Han Bing and Li Yun contributed to this report.

Frank Yue


Frank Yue is a Canada-based journalist for The Epoch Times who covers China-related news. He also holds an M.A. in English language and literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China.

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