The Rumor Monger Jia Xiaoyin

(Southern Metropolis Weekly)  The Rumor Monger Jia Xiaoyin.  October 13, 2008.

23-year-old Jia Xiaoyin

On July 15, Shanghai police seized
the computer of Jia Xiaoyin

Shanghai police left behind a list of seized items
which included some books

The parents of Jia Xiaoyin have not heard any news about him

The Jia family lives in a dormitory house in Lihexin village, Canglang district, Suzhou city.  Jia Qihong recalled that on that night around 12:00m, the family of three was asleep.  Several police officers called from outside the window to say that Jia Xiaoyin had to go down to the police station to answer some questions.  62-year-old Jia Qihong was worried and he went down with the police and his son to the Fengmen police station in Suzhou city.  He waited downstairs until late into the night.

Ultimately, Jia Qihong never saw his son.  The next morning, the police sent a notice to say that his son has been criminally detained for "suspicion of causing trouble."  Jia Qihong was perplexed that his honest and good-natured son would be involved in a matter of such a nature.

Seven days later, Jia Qihong received a notice of arrest from the police.  This time, Jia Xiaoyin is being charged with "suspected libel."  Jia Qihong and his wife were informed that his son has been taken from Suzhou to a detention center in Shanghai.

Jia Xiaoyin was taken away along with several books as well as a made-in-Taiwan desktop computer.  According to the list of seized items from the Shanghai public security bureau, the books were <New Top Secret Information>, <Collected Essays of Shi Dongbing>, <Stormy Annals of the Leadership>, <Behind-the-scene Power Interests of the Central Government>, <The New Party Princes>.

On the day after his son was taken away, Jia Qihong saw that there were television reporters outside taking film outside his house and speaking into microphones.  That night, the local Suzhou television report carried a report from the Oriental Channel: "Shanghai breaks open Internet crime case; suspect named Jia has been arrested."

It was then that Jia Qihong learned that his son was in trouble regarding an Internet post titled <The Inside Story of the Attack on the Shanghai Police>.  This post was about a man named Yang Jia.

Six days before his son was taken away, 28-year-old Beijing resident Yang Jia entered the Zhabei police station of Shanghai city with a knife in hand.  He killed six and wounded four police officers.  The police charged that on the day after the attack, Jia Xiaoyin posted <The Inside Story of the Attack on the Shanghai Police> on the Internet.

The post was less than 500 words in length and disclosed the reason why Yang Jia attacked the police: "Because Yang Jia had been assaulted by the Zhabei police during detention and became impotent as a result with no possibility of having children, he went on a mayhem in revenge."  The reason offered by the Shanghai City Number Two Procuratorate for the arrest was, "Jia Xiaoyin made up a rumor on the Internet and seriously damaged the images of the militia police and the public security organization, and therefore he has violated Article 246 of the Criminal Law."

According to a lawyer, the case of Jia Xiaoyin and the case of Yang Jia are both handled by the Shanghai City Public Security Bureau Criminal Investigative Squad (commonly known as 803), and this showed the importance of the case.  Jia Qihong never imagined that his taciturn son would be linked to a most shocking crime.

Jia Qihong and his wife Zhang Peipei had both been sent away to the countryside in their youth.  When they returned to the city, they obeyed the policy of late marriage.  They had this only son when they were almost 40 years old.  Zhang is a retired worker at the Sulun Knitting Factory while Jia is a retired worker at the Suzhou Arts & Craft Factory.  Today, they create water color paintings for the Suzhou Art Street.

On September 28, Zhang Peipei opened a heavily wrapped plastic bag to take out various legal documents.  Alongside the notices for detention and arrest is a graduation certificate from the Suzhou Professional Economic and Trade Institute.

When Su Xiaoyin was taken away by the police, he had graduated from this school less than a year ago.

In the 2002 class of the Suzhou Professional Economic and Trade Institute, there were 61 students. Jia Xiaoyin was assigned student seat number 1 and he sat in the front of the class.  Jia Qihong said that his son had graduated as the top student six years ago from secondary school and entered the Institute.

Jia Qihong is naturally color-blind and his son Jia Xiaoyin inherited the color blindness.  He was worried that his son would have limited professional choices in high school/university.  Therefore, he choose this institute that was right by their home.

In his view, if Jia Xiaoyin can get a diploma in customs and international logistics in five years, it should be easy to find a suitable job in a place like Suzhou.

This blueprint that Jia Qihong designed for his son turned out to be an utter failure.  He never imaged that Jia Xiaoyin did not like this profession and his academic results quickly slid.

His class advisor Tong Hua remembers Jia Xiaoyin clearly.  Tong said that Jia was very introverted and taciturn.  "If you don't look him up, he will never come to you."  Tong said that even though Jia Xiaoyin sat in the front row, he often fell asleep as soon as class started.  He was often gone by the third or fourth class of the day.

According to this fellow student Zhou Jun, Jia Xiaoyin did not often read the textbooks during the five years.  He preferred to read illustrated military books and martial arts novels.  Apart from an occasional soccer game, he basically did not socialize.

Later on, Jia Xiaoyin basically did not participate in any group activity, including class meetings.  His mother Zhang Peipei recalled that Tong Hua told her that her son may have a psychological impediment that required her attention.

Under the five-year system of the Professional Economic and Trade Institute that starts from secondary school graduation, Jia Xiaoyin should have graduated in June 2007.  He actually received his graduation diploma on December 20, 2007.  The reason for the six-month delay was that he had to make up for six courses.

Even today, it is possible to retrieve the list of courses that Jia Xiaoyin had to re-take exams for: conversational Japanese; physical exercise and health; abacus; accounting; computerized accounting; customs form completion; international logistical science.  This list showed that the university career of Jia Xiaoyin was mostly a nightmare in the latter half.

Tong Hua is most angry that Jia Xiaoyin did not want to take part in any employment tests and interviews.  The Professional Economic and Trade Institute demands that 100% of its students must find employment.  She had specifically reported to the department about the employment problem with Jia Xiaoyin.  The first job that Jia Xiaoyin got was through the intercession of a leader of the Professional Economic and Trade Institute.

Jia Xiaoyin's first job was to be a security guard at a bank.  It is hard to imagine what a university graduate looked like in a security guard uniform with a police baton attach to his waist.

At a certain branch of the Guanda Bank next to the Golden Chicken Lakeside in the Suzhou Industrial Park, a female worker barely remembered guard named Jia Xiaoyin.  But she cannot recall what he looked like.  For her, the white-collar workers sitting at the office desks are a world apart from the security guards patrolling the lobby.  Jia Xiaoyin did not seem to have left any trace in this job that he was over-qualified for.  After less than three months on the job, he resigned.  Nobody knew why he left.  Jia Qinhong said that his son refused to say except that he did not want to work there anymore.  He was afraid to push too hard because something may happen to his usually taciturn son.

Nobody know what Jia Xiaoyin wanted to do. Xiao Qihong said that apart from using the Internet, his son's favorite activity was to sit home and watch television.  "He liked to watch sports programs most of all."

Jia Qihong used to sleep in the larger bedroom.  But since the television set was in this room, they swapped the room with their son.  The couple slept on the single bed in the studio/living room of the home.

On July 15, the Shanghai police returned Jia Xiaoyin's computer.  In truth, the Internet post made by Jia Xiaoyin that caused all the trouble had not been made from his home.  It was made at the free Internet bar in the Suzhou Library.  Jia Qihong said that the family did not have a broadband connection in order to save money.

Duringng that period, Jia Xiaoyin watched television or slept in the mornings at this Lihexin Village home.  In the afternoon, he went to the second floor of the Suzhou Library on People's Road in Yinhaqi Bridge to use the Intenet.  At night, he came home to play solo computer games.  Such was the daily life of the unemployed Jia Xiaoyin.  He also liked to read books.  Jia Qihong siad that the books taken away by the police were just some pirated books that his son picked up for fun from the street vendors.

This continued for more than half a year until July 6, 2008 when Jia Xiaoyin was taken away by the police.  Yang Jia, whom Jia Xiaoyin had never met, had a similar trajectory albeit several months earlier.  In 1996, Yang Jia graduated from secondary school and did not proceed to high school.  Instead, he attended a technical school to learn salesmanship.  In 1999, Yang Jia graduated from the technical school and worked as an intern and worker at two shopping centers.   Yang Jia's aunt said that "he got bored and left."  Unlike the quiet Jia Xiaoyin, the unemployed Yang Jia loved outdoor sports and travel.  Their common point was the Internet.

"Incredible, unthinkable!"  That was what Zhou Jun used to describe the feelings of fellow students upon learning about the trouble that Jia Xiaoyin had gotten into.  In his memory, Jia said little or nothing even at the QQ group that the students set up after graduation.  "We only heard that he was active at"

For Jia Xiaoyin, the Internet was a completely different world from the real one around him.  There was no longer any school work that he hated, or the boredom of unemployment, or the nagging from the adults.  In that virtual world, Jia Xiaoyin established a blog under the name of "Gutsy Troublemaker."  This is a name that is completely opposite to his taciturn nature in real life.  In like manner, Yang Jia had established his own blog as "Extraordinary Land Demon" which is completely opposite to his image as a tough Beijing young man.

At this time, it is hard to find any direct connection between "Gutsy Troublemaker" and "Extraordinary Land Demon" over the Internet.

Among the many Internet traces left behind by Yang Jia, nobody has been able to find any hint as to why he attacked the police later on.  As for the Internet post first made by "Gutsy Troublemaker" Jia Xiaoyin and carried by many others, these is little or nothing left at the various websites.  Even if you use many different search engines, you will have a hard time finding any trace left behind by "Gutsy Troublemaker."

According to <Shanghai Morning News>, Jia Xiaoyin admitted at the detention center that "he does not know Yang Jia at all."  The reason why he made that Internet post was that "he wanted to become well-known.  On the Internet, the more weird and provocative things you say, the more hits you get.  Therefore, I thought about the reproductive organ thing."  "I love it when people pay attention to me, praise me and flatter me on the Internet."

Jia Qihong believes that his son does not know Yang Jia.  Apart from having gone to Wuxi during a spring tour, his son had never gone outside Suzhou.  But he wondered if the Internet post was actually made by his son: "Perhaps he was just re-posting someone else's essay?"  When Tong Hua learned about the news from the reporter, she sighed.  Prior to this, she did not know that her former student has been detained over the Yang Jia case.  Tong Hua cannot understand why Jia Xiaoyin wrote that Internet post.  In her view, Jia was "a typical case of an excellent student who gave up on himself after some setback."  "I tried to teach him to adjust to this world, but he refused."

As of now, no lawyer has entered the case of Jia Xiaoyin.  Previously, the status of the defense lawyer for Yang Jia had become a matter of public attention, as many lawyers showed up in Shanghai to offer to defend Yang Jia.

By comparison, the case of Jia Xiaoyin seemed to have fallen into a silent dark zone.  Jia Qihong said that he has not signed any agreements with any lawyers, nor has he been interviewed by any media.  But this does not mean that the public opinion has gone silent.  Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan of Beijing and lawyer Zhang Peihong of Shanghai are both interested in the case of Jia Xiaoyin.

Zhang Peihong believes that there is a clear flaw in allowing the case of Jia Xiaoyin to proceed into a criminal process.  Even if this Internet post was a complete rumor, it should have been an administrative matter and not a criminal case that involved the public prosecutor.

Zhang pointed out that even if the core information in the Internet post (namely "Yang Jia was beaten during an interrogation at the police station and became impotent") was inaccurate, it would still be hard to trigger a libel case because of the difficulty in identifying just who the plaintiff might be.

According to the information from the initial trial of Yang Jia, four members of the militia police at the Zhabei police station were the key persons in the detention of Yang Jia.  But the post made by Jia Xiaoyin did not identify which police officers assaulted Yang Jia ...