Chinese teenager chops off left hand in attempt to cure Internet addiction

People using computers at an Internet cafe in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in this March 31, 2010 file photo. A 19-year-old Chinese teenager from Jiansu province was so desperate to cure himself of his Internet addiction that he chopped off his left
People using computers at an Internet cafe in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in this March 31, 2010 file photo. A 19-year-old Chinese teenager from Jiansu province was so desperate to cure himself of his Internet addiction that he chopped off his left hand with a kitchen knife last week.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SUZHOU - A 19-year-old Chinese teenager was so desperate to cure himself of his Internet addiction that he chopped off his left hand with a kitchen knife last week.

Identified only by the name "Little Wang", the teenager from Natong, Jiangsu province, reportedly smuggled the knife out of his home and left a note on his bed informing his parents that he was going to the hospital.

He then severed his left hand at the wrist while sitting on a bench at a nearby bus stop. He left it lying on the ground and took a cab to a local hospital, where doctors managed to re-attach the hand after the police recovered it.

It is not known if he will regain full mobility of it.

Local television later showed images of the bloodstained bench where he apparently committed the act.

Little Wang's distraught mother told reporters: "We cannot accept what has happened. It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy."

He later explained to his parents that he hated himself for his Internet addiction as his examinations were coming and he could not focus on his studies.

A 2010 report by the China Youth Internet Association revealed that 24 million, or 14.1 per cent of young Internet users, are online addicts.

As of last year, as many as 250 military-style boot camps have sprouted up in the country to help them curb their urges.