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Phone bill drives teen to suicide
Latest Updated by 2006-12-04 15:50:13

A TEENAGER from northwestern China killed himself after running up a bill of 1,800 yuan (US$230) calling phone sex lines, Xinhua News Agency said Saturday (Dec 1).


Li Hongbin, 14, from a village in Gansu Province, dropped out of school last year and began calling the expensive hotlines in August.


He committed suicide by drinking pesticide after a telephone company clerk called at the family home asking for payment.


The longest conversation listed in a 16-page phone bill went on for more than four hours, Xinhua said.


Calls cost three yuan a minute, Xinhua cited the head of one service as saying, while the average monthly cash income of Chinese farmers is just 300 yuan.


Phone sex services have been proliferating in recent years, with advertisements in local telephone directories and newspapers.


Beijing is attempting to crack down on pornography with a campaign that includes monitoring phone sex lines.


Editor: Wing

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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