Sure, if you feel lonely, bored and you've got a computer at hand, cyber love may seem like a great means to kill time. According to a survey conducted by sina.com, which involved more than 17,000 Internet surfers, 69% of them had tried it. Another survey by sohu.com found that more than 50% of net surfers trust cyber love.
The most convenient place to talk with an online lover is a chat room. According to a survey by the Chinese Internet Culture Association, 97% of Internet surfers have tried communicating with others in chat rooms. And there are plenty of choices, with around 2,500 large-scale chat rooms available to Chinese surfers.
This month, netizens have been expressing their anger in a forum run by Netease, one of the most influential websites in China, about one of the forum's former administrators, whos net name was Kuaile Buyi (A Happy Plain Man). Apparently, he cheated some of the female forumites out of hundreds of thousands of yuan.
According to Hanqiong Diming (Cold Song of Crickets), one of the female victims, Kuaile Buyi was good at writing, a skill that helped him become an administrator on the Netease page in which he talked about feelings and love. Many women adored him.
After her marriage broke up, Hanqiong Diming found herself falling in love with Kuaile Buyi, and she believed that he loved her deeply. However, after they met at the beginning of 2004, he asked her to lend him 50,000 yuan, since his former girl friend was dying of cancer.
Hanqiong Diming was moved by his kindness and gave him the money. But then Kuaile Buyi disappeared and she didn't see him again. After that Hanqiong Diming realized she had been cheated.
In February this year, Hanqiong Diming posted her story in the Netease forum. She wasn't surprised when she found out that other female net surfers had had similar experience. One of them even lent Kuaile Buyi 150,000 yuan this March.
However, these female victims were unwilling to sue Kuaile Buyi, since most of them were married and could not face with such a big scandal.
Till now, Kuaile Buyi has not been found or punished.
"What he did damaged people's trust on the Internet, and hurt people's most beautiful feelings," said Sophiedream, a net surfer on Netease.
In fact, many people have had unfortunate experiences in relationships with cyber lovers, but not all of them were as unlucky as Kuaile Buyi's lovers.
"Last year, I dated a girl several times after meeting her in a chatroom," said Hongchen Jianghu (Dust and Rivers), a postgraduate student, "She was under 20 and told me she was a college student."
But the girl asked Hongchen Jianghu to lend her 2,000 yuan. He told her he would like to help her, but he was a poor student as well and so much money was totally beyond him. The girl immediately broke off with him.
"At that time, I felt my heart was broken, but it's better than having my wallet broken. Compared with the women who were cheated by Kuaile Buyi, I think I was lucky," said Hongchen Jianghu.
Lovers become rapists
On April 4, police in Chaohu, Anhui saved 18-year-old Cheng Anfang, a middle school student, from a local whorehouse. She was taken there by her cyber lover, "Handsome Man", two weeks before.
The two met in a chat room and started dating since March 20. Together with an accomplice, Handsome Man started feeding Cheng with sleeping pills. They took some naked photos of her and then raped her. After that, they took her to a whorehouse and forced her to prostitute herself.
There have been numerous cases of teenagers being taken advantage of in this way. In August last year, Beijing citizen Liu Lumin was sentenced to four years in prison for sexually abusing Weiwei, a 13-year-old girl.
Weiwei met Liu online in 2002. the 43-year-old man was considerate, humorous and passionate. Weiwei fell in love with him immediately and made love with him after their first date. After that, he took Weiwei out and continuously had sexual intercourse with her.
One time, Weiwei was away from her family for 40 days, during which Liu offered her drugs. It was only then that Weiwei began to regret her actions. She decided to sue Liu.
In court, Liu claimed that he did not know Weiwei was only 13, and he said everything that happened had been with both sides' consent. However, Weiwei's mother said in court that she had told Liu how old Weiwei was several times.
But teenagers are not only victims. Yang, an 18-year-old girl in Changsha, Hunan dated her cyber lover, "Hug You and Kiss You". After he suggested making love, she refused, so he raped her and stole her money.
When police traced "Hug You nd Kiss You" to a net cafe in Xiangtan on April 6, they found he was only 16 years old. He admitted that he had raped several other cyber lovers and taken their money as well. All the girls had been around 16¨C18 years old.
"Teenagers are easily influenced, and they do not have much social experience. Besides, many teenagers do not know how to protect their privacy on the Internet and they willingly give their personal information to strangers, such as true names, telephone numbers, schools and addresses. This makes it easy for them to become targets of criminals," said Zhang Xuemei, vice chief of Beijing Legal Aid and Research Center for Children.
"And of course, pornography and deviant pages on the Internet play a negative role here," said Zhang. Teenagers are not the only people who need to be educated about using the Internet. She suggested that parents and teachers should improve their knowledge about it as well, so they can be aware of what children and students are doing on the Internet."
Lovers become killers
On February 15, a man was found trying to commit suicide at his home in Wuhan. Afterwards, he admitted that he had killed his cyber lover the last eve on Valentine's Day.
The man, with the net name "lying Dust", got to know his cyber lover "Rain Drop", a 25-year-old flower store keeper, at the end of 2003. But Rain Drop's parents disapproved of her having such an intimate cyber relationship. So on Valentine's Day, she told Flying Dust that she had to break up with him. He flew into a rage and strangled her to death, and then tried to cut the arteries on his neck and wrists.
"I love her, I want to be with her forever," he said later, when asked why he had done it.
On Apri l7, a man's body was found in a hotel room in Dengshikou, Beijing. The man, called Zhang Yang, had been killed by his cyber lover, Liang Yixia, because he refused to marry her. Liang was arrested when she came back to get her mobile phone recharger.
According to Liang, in May 2003 she had been raped by three men she met on the Internet, and they also took her money. After that, Zhang, a seemingly gentle and rich man, renewed her trust in cyber love. But after they had sex, he told her that it was impossible for him to marry a cyber lover. Liang felt so humiliated that she fed him with sleeping pills and then strangled him with adhesive tape.
At the police station Liang said she felt no regret for what she had done. "He deserved this punishment I gave him," she said repeatedly.
"Surfing on the Internet and having cyber lovers are the same thing. Like in real life, sincerity, responsibility and self-discipline are needed. And you always have to be cautious and know how to protect yourself," he said.
Source: Xinhua (China)
(if you think this only happens in Asia, think again - these sorts of scenarios happen all over the world, the U.S. and Canada included! - Fighter)