Often on social media, especially on WeChat Moments and group chats, we’ll see “missing persons reports.” We are encouraged to share them in every group we know and ask our friends if so-and-so foreign national or child has been sighted anywhere. Even though we’re in Beijing, sometimes we’re asked about residents of Shenzhen or Shanghai, and many ads will continue to circulate even after the person is found. Clearly, there must be a better way.
We’re not discouraging anyone from asking their communities/networks for assistance, but if it’s your friend or family member who’s gone missing, you should know how to get help from authorities.
When can you file a “missing person’s report”?
In the US it’s 36 hours, but in China the police will not open a case until a person has been missing for at least 48 hours. Foreign nationals can also get in touch with their embassy and have the embassy contact the police on their behalf (especially if there’s a language barrier).
What do you need to file a report?
When you go to police station, make sure you have the missing person’s basic information, such as their name, nationality, eye and hair color, height, and weight. Bring the person’s photos and clothes. The police will use the clothing to extract DNA, which they will run through their bank of missing persons.
What if you’re not in China, but your loved on might be missing in China?
You can still contact your embassy and have them contact the local police and file the report on your behalf.
Source: Global Times