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WePhone boss leapt to his death over divorce ‘despair’

By CUI JIA | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-12 19:00
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A Beijing tech entrepreneur committed suicide on Thursday by jumping from the top of an apartment building after becoming depressed during his acrimonious divorce.

Su Xiangmao, 37, apparently leapt to his death at about 5 am, leaving a suicide note that said his “calculating” ex-wife had lied during their relationship and threatened to expose him for possible tax evasion.

The wealthy businessman, who developed WePhone, an app that allows users to make internet calls, married Zhai Xinxin, 29, on June 6. The couple met in March via Jiayuan, a dating website with more than 170 million users.

The day before they planned to register their marriage, Zhai revealed she had been married briefly before, according to Su’s suicide note, an image of which has circulated widely online since his death.

Su decided to go ahead with the marriage, as he had already spent millions on Zhai, he wrote. However, he added, he found Zhai’s character had changed after the wedding, making him feel scared.

The pair divorced after just over a month on July 18.

In addition to a villa in Hainan province, Zhai demanded 10 million yuan ($1.53 million) in compensation for her mental distress.

Su agreed, he wrote, adding that his ex-wife also threatened to tell the authorities he had been evading his taxes. The note twice features the word “despair”.

Zhai could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Since Su’s death, his family and some netizens have accused Jiayuan of failing to verify Zhai’s marital history.

However, Chen Wei, an attorney with Beijing Yingke Law Firm, said, “Dating websites have no access to the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ marriage registration database, nor the Ministry of Public Security’s ID database, so there is no way they can verify the most basic personal information, including a person’s real name, age or marital history.”

Jiayuan issued a statement on Sunday that confirmed the couple were its VIP members. It said it will assist in any police investigation into Su’s death.

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