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Bloke sold son on Internet

A Chinese man has been given a suspended jail sentence after selling his son on the internet for £1,800.

The 22-year-old man, named as Mr Lu, was lumped with lone-parenting duties after he split up with the mother of his two-year-old son.

Mr Lu found he couldn't cope and lacked the money to look after the boy, so he put his son up for adoption.

But he cut out the state authorities and did it himself, putting an advert on the Internet last April. A childless couple from Beijing bought the boy for 18,000 Yuan ($2,650, or £1,800 in old money) and the boy was duly shipped to his new home, 1,000km away.

It is not known which courier he used.

Boys are highly prized in Chinese culture, with the murder and abortion of Chinese girls an historical problem. Infanticide is thought to have increased since the Chinese government introduced its One-Child Policy, which puts a limit on urban family sizes.

Mr Lu changed his mind about the deal after he got back together with the boy's mother. He reported the Beijing buyers to the police, hoping he might get the boy back. He accused them of child trafficking. But the police arrested him instead.

He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and the money he got for the sale was confiscated, state media reported.

In pursuing a private adoption for his son, Mr Lu had unwittingly anticipated political developments in the UK, where the government is hoping that more people will be encouraged to take on public services by allowing them to make a profit from them.